The introduction of the application-based cab services like Uber and Ola is having an ‘unintended, but welcome’ consequence. Punjabis who had gone abroad to drive cabs are finding that they can do the same here as technology acts as a facilitator. The fact that bookings are technology-enabled (App-based) and fares are more or less stable means that cab drivers are free to operate with location not a real constraint, anymore.
So, a few individuals have forgone their foreign dreams and some have come back to drive a cab, since the introduction of appbased cab services. Most say ‘being with family’ was what motivated the move back. Not only youngsters, some middle-aged people too are finding the proposition worthwhile. HT profiles some of these cases.
Arshdeep Gill (25), a BCA, went for higher study in Australia and drove a cab in Melbourne. When he learnt that the trend of appbased cabs has picked up in Chandigarh, he returned.
“I am my own boss. I purchased an Etios and got registered with Uber. I am planning to buy more cars.” He is dismissive of the notion that Indian families are usually embarrassed when their wards drive a cab for a living.
Mandeep Singh (38) says, “I stayed in Dubai for six years. I drove a taxi while working for a construction company and returned after I got wind of the trend. I have two cabs registered with Uber. I am making good money, even as I stay with my loved ones.”
Paramjeet Singh (23) has shelved the idea of going abroad.” I am doing my graduation and earning well. I have shelved the idea of going abroad after working with Ola.”
“Jasveer Singh (22), enrolled in an engineering diploma course, says, “I was a sales executive and left to join Uber. We do not have targets.”
Talwinder Singh Hundal (26) working with a private company and driving Ola cab says,”It’s a great opportunity.”
Rajinder Pal Singh (50), a commerce graduate from Delhi University, who had to give up education business due to some compulsions, says the job has given him new hope.
HOW IT WORKS
Started in 2014, people having a commercial licence can get registered with these companies for plying taxis and give them a platform to connect with passengers. The majority of such cabs plying in Chandigarh have a registration number that begins with PB01. Drivers and car owners claim getting registered in Punjab saves them the entry tax they are required to pay while entering Punjab. Uber gets 60% of its partners (it does not call them drivers) from Punjab, followed by Haryana and Himachal. To regulate these companies, the UT administration is working on a policy for these titled ‘On-demand Transportation Technology Aggregators Rules, 2016’.