Bengaluru auto unions to launch mobile app Namma Yatri to challenge aggregators: Report
Seemingly exasperated with unfair work practices of ride-hailing giants in Bengaluru, auto unions have decided to launch their apps. The Namma Yatri app will be live on November 1.
In Bengaluru, auto unions are looking to overtake aggregators and ride-hailing giants - such as Ola and Uber - by launching their own mobile app, called "Namma Yatri". The app is set to be launched on November 1 by the Autorickshaw Drivers Union (ARDU), in partnership with the Beckn Foundation, which is backed by Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani, as per a report by the Times of India.
READ | ‘Cab drivers go to highway and then extort money’: Netizen tells his story
Cab drivers too are seemingly dissatisfied as they are forced to juggle high fuel costs, high commissions paid to the aggregator per ride, which is said to as high as 30 per cent, EMI repayments on their vehicles, harsh working conditions with impossible targets and unbeatable traffic congestions.
D Rudramurthy, the president of the Autorickshaw Drivers Union, told the publication that fares for the Namma Yatri app will be as per the government-fixed rate. "We will collect an additional ₹10 as pick-up charges. We also plan to launch a flat ₹40 fare in 2 km radius between Metro stations and residences or offices,” he said.
READ | Cabbies in Bengaluru work nights to skip traffic amid high fuel costs, commissions
Another union - Peace Auto - also sought to launch a similar app called ‘Rook’ in partnership with a Bengaluru-based mobility firm on Gandhi Jayanti, which has been postponed.
Drivers have said they were losing customers who fumed over the unreasonable high fares charged by the ride-hailing apps. Aggregators charge around ₹100 for the first two kilometres when the minimum auto rickshaw fare has been fixed at ₹30.
READ | 'Absolutely helpless...': Bengaluru commuters on auto rickshaw woes
Meanwhile, a simultaneous debate has got triggered on social media. “Average fares of @Ola_Bangalore @Uber_BLR autos r Rs.100 any time of the day for a mere 2.5 kms distance (Rs.40/km) to upcoming Hulimavu metro station on Bannerghatta road. How can v expect greater adoption of public transport wit expensive last mile connectivity? (sic)” Vivek Kalkur, a Twitter user posted.
"Exactly. This ₹99 for minimum rides is for all times of the day irrespective of peak hours. Adopting this, auto drivers also demand ₹100 for minimum rides. Why? Are startups given a free hand to charge whatever they wish in #Bengaluru? @CPBlr @DgpKarnataka," a Twitter user called Raj replied.
The voices of dissent even reached the Karnataka Transport Department, which after receiving several complaints by customers on Ola and Uber overcharging practices, ordered them to stop auto rickshaw service in the city in three days, according to a report by Times Now.
The transport department had earlier slapped around 292 cases on the ride-hailing apps based on these complaints by citizens.
READ | Ola, Uber slapped with 292 cases in Bengaluru for charging excess fare
“Auto rickshaw are backbone of first & last-mile connectivity in Bengaluru. We received many complaints recently regarding tech aggregators charging ₹100 as minimum charge against the fixed limit of ₹30. Requested CM Sri @BSBommai & Sri @sriramulubjp to take necessary action,” Bengaluru South MP Tejasvi Surya tweeted regarding the issue.