Cabbies in Bengaluru work nights to skip traffic amid high fuel costs, commissions: Report
Cab drivers in Bengaluru are preferring to work night shifts to stay away from traffic jams while battling with high fuel prices and big commissions, a report said.
Bengaluru cab drivers - those working with ride-share apps like Ola and Uber - have begun working longer into the night to avoid peak traffic hours - which eat into their high fuel costs and EMI repayments. To combat these challenging conditions - being stuck in traffic - many have opted to now work night shifts (or later shifts) instead, The Indian Express reported.
They have also been struggling to pay the commission demanded by the apps.
Despite getting fewer customers at night, drivers expressed relief at not having to deal the city's infamous bottlenecks, which are made worse by a handful of unfinished infrastructure projects - like Namma Metro works - that make congestion worse.
The report also quoted the president of the state's Ola/Uber drivers' association as saying they were therefore having a hard time earning enough money. "... traffic in Bengaluru has taken a mental toll on them. There is no choice but to find an alternative model. So some cab drivers now sell garments while some sell vegetables," Tanveer Pasha said.
"(places) like Silk Board Junction, Tin Factory, Marathahalli, Outer Ring Road, JC Road have stressed me out completely. I can no longer drive in such bottleneck traffic. Driving at night makes me comfortable. I have dinner at home in the evening and have tea, snacks while I am up driving throughout the night," Mohammad Shaik, a cab driver, said.
However, as companies begin recalling employees to office, the need for more cabs is becoming critical and customers have complained of dealing with cancellations and the standard 'cash or...' question, as well as longer wait time for rides.
These issues have ignited debates in cyberspace too, with some pointing to alternatives like Rapido and others talking up (improved) public transport. "Just a wild guess.. but I think Ola, uber cabs will be out within the next 3-5 years at least in Bangalore," one person tweeted.