Unique drive: Citizens to refuse cab, auto rides on August 12 | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Unique drive: Citizens to refuse cab, auto rides on August 12

mumbai Updated: Aug 07, 2010 02:11 IST
HT Correspondent

If this new citizens' campaign is pulled off successfully, then cab and auto drivers in the city may face a unique situation on August 12 – passengers refusing to hop in for a ride.

Called the Meter Jam campaign, this commuter strike has been called by three city advertising professionals as a response to auto and cab drivers who refuse fares and often overcharge.

In just three days, the campaign's popularity has skyrocketed, with over 4,200 Facebook fans pledging to support the strike next Thursday and tweets on Twitter planning to launch it in cities such as Bangalore as well.

The organisers — Rachana Brar, Jaidev Rupani and Abhilash Krishnan — are planning to orchestrate carpool services on August 12 as an alternative to public transport.

"We don't expect everyone who has signed up to be able to ban autos and cabs, but on Tuesday we will put up a carpool tool on Facebook so people have a genuine option," said Rupani, who, along with his co-organisers, has found it difficult to get autos to their Goregaon office.

Carpool is the answer for Vashi resident Dipika Gue as well, who takes more than half an hour every day to get a cab from Wadala to her Lower Parel office. "This initiative is important specially after the hell we went through during the taxi strike last month. Even if it's not a success, I appreciate the effort," said the 23-year-old.

Many others plan to use buses, private vehicles, or walk.

"I will leave early from home and spend 20 minutes walking to office," said Manoj Iyer, an engineer working in Malad, who came across the campaign on Facebook. "What's annoying is that they don't even give you a reason for refusing rides."

The organisers point out that this is a form of protest, not revenge.

"Drivers need to be made aware of our problems, and we are doing so in a peaceful, non-cooperation way," said Brar.