As photo of 20 ticket goes viral, Bengaluru commuters debate why Ola, Uber lagging behind

Published on Jul 13, 2022 11:19 AM IST

India's two biggest ride hailing apps Ola and Uber came under fire once again as irked customers took to Twitter to share their woes of having to deal with repeated cancellations and much more.

The debate over Ola/Uber versus public transport such as BMTC is back on Twitter. (Image source: Srinivas Alavilli/Twitter)
The debate over Ola/Uber versus public transport such as BMTC is back on Twitter. (Image source: Srinivas Alavilli/Twitter)
ByYamini C S | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh

As more and more people shift to working from offices in Bengaluru, demand for the two biggest ride-hailing apps, Ola and Uber, is growing every day. However employees are finding it harder to secure a ride in the first try.

People took to Twitter to share their woes, with one Srinivas Alavilli, working at Janaagraha writing, “I was willing to pay 15 times more for a cab as I was in a bit of a rush but wasn’t even available. Wasted time booking & getting the dreaded “elli saar” call & then you know what next :) In comes the lovely No. 13 @BMTC_BENGALURU & I’m off to Jayanagar for a princely sum of 20."

Read: Why Ola, Uber cab drivers are refusing to switch on their ACs in Bengaluru

The tweet set off a fresh debate on the viability of cab aggregators in traffic-stricken metros like Bengaluru, with one user saying, “Just a wild guess.. but I think ola, uber cabs will be out within the next 3-5 years at least in Bangalore.”

Customers complained about having to deal with repeated cancellations, the standard ‘cash or Ola money’ question and long wait time for rides to be assigned, with another saying, “We also suffered a lot by this ridiculous attitude of drivers both in Uber and Ola. When they are penalising customers for cancelling, why not the drivers also be penalised for cancelling trips after accepting the booking?”

Read: Have Ola & Uber hiked fare charges in Bengaluru?

According to a report in May, only around 30,000 cabs are on the roads today as compared to the 1 lakh-odd cabs that were in the city during the pre-COVID times. This is because over half the cabbies that worked in the city went to their hometowns in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and haven't come back due to the high commissions they have to pay the aggregators per ride. This commission reportedly is about 30%.

Combined with the soaring fuel prices, rising inflation, EMIs, debt and increased cost of living in Bengaluru, drivers are preferring not to come back to the city.

Read: Govt to look into “unfair practices” of Ola and Uber

A techie called Ashish Jain posted, "With ever-increasing traffic in Bengaluru, I decided to not use my personal vehicle and strictly avoid weekend outings. So I would use #Ola and #Uber? No, the probability of getting a cab without cancellation is nearing zero. I now use cab rentals from #ezidrive and #Savaari."

Twitter has also been flooded with solutions to tackle the transportation hassle in the city, with one handle called Meera Matters posting statistics, saying, “Public transport in India has a long way to go! Only 63 of 458 Indian cities of more than 1 lakh pop have a formal city bus system. Chandigarh has the best per capita bus fleet: 4.7/1000 pop, while Bengaluru has .54 buses/1000 pop.”

With delayed metro constructions, over 23% of BMTC services not operational post 6 p.m. and the ongoing cab shortage in Bengaluru, public transportation is coming to a standstill with citizens running out of options.

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