Taxi drivers calling for a strike doesn't come as surprise to most commuters. On Friday, one such flash strike called by a taxi union at the domestic and international airport had little effect on the passengers.
Those who landed at the airport used fleet taxis arranged by the airport authorities.
However, commuters said it was time that the taxi unions and the transport authorities pay heed to their demand: improve service and do away with malpractices such as overcharging and harassing passengers.
For instance, Varsha Raut, Borivli resident and member of Garahak Panchayat, a consumer outfit, said she was harassed by taximen even though she had paid for a cab at the prepaid taxi counter. "As soon as I stepped out of the airport, a group of taxi drivers surrounded me offering their cabs. When I told them we had booked a prepaid taxi, they said they would adjust among themselves," said Raut. The incident took place three months ago.
Commuters also complained of prepaid taxis charging around 30% more than metered taxi. "Last week, I took a cool cab from Dahisar (East) to the airport and had to pay Rs240. On my way back, I booked a prepaid taxi and had to pay Rs340," said Vivek Pathki, a Dahisar resident and management trainer.
According to consumer activist Shirish Deshpande, the purpose of the service was lost if a commuter had to travel in another cab even after paying for a prepaid taxi.
AL Quadros, head of Mumbai Taximen's Union, said, "We haven't received any complaints, but I will look into it. Passengers can complain on the number given on the receipt or to the unions."