MUMBAI: Commuters stranded after the train derailment couldn’t find relief on the road either, thanks to the ‘surge pricing’ of app-based taxi aggregators.
Several commuters complained on social media platforms that the fare of app-based taxis was surged as high as four times (4X) the normal fare during morning peak hours, when commuters were desperately looking for some mode of transport to reach offices.
As slow line services between Churchgate and Bandra had completely stopped until 10.30am, several commuters were forced to take an alternate mode of transport. As a result, BEST buses were full and getting an empty black-and-yellow taxi from outside the station was difficult.
Commuters said when they tried to book app-based taxis on their smartphones, they found to the fares to be three to four times more than normal.
Consumer activists demanded immediate steps be taken to stop surge pricing. Varsha Raut, a commuter, said people want better and comfortable services, but it does not mean that app-based aggregators should take undue advantage of the situation.
“Earlier when there were such disruptions or strikes, drivers of kaali-peeli taxis and autorickshaws would exploit commuters. Now, however, taxi aggregators are doing it officially, under the fancy name of surge pricing,” said Raut, adding the government should stop surge pricing like in Karnrataka.
Meanwhile, one of the major app-based taxi aggregator Ola could not be reached for comment, while a spokesperson for Uber said the fare had not been pushed up everywhere in the city. “The fare could have been surged where there demand was higher, for a particular category of our products and at particular locations only. Not everywhere in the city,” said the Uber spokesperson.
The state government has brought in a taxi scheme to regulate app-based taxis and bring a level playing field among all taxi operators. However, the state government is yet finalised it.