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Friday, Dec 06, 2019

Commuters miffed as app-based taxi drivers cancel trips frequently

cities Updated: Dec 05, 2019 01:25 IST
Aroosa Ahmed
Aroosa Ahmed

Citizens,who frequently travel by app-based cabs in the city, have reported an increase in instances of drivers cancelling trips or refusing to accept rides. While app-based cab aggregator Uber said it “cannot comment” on the matter, Ola said it recently felicitated drivers who had the “best customer ratings owing to minimal ride cancellations and high ride acceptance in past six months”.

According to a recent consumer survey conducted by Local Circles, a social media citizen engagement platform, ride cancellations by drivers and surge pricing are the top concerns for riders. Of the 51,000 respondents to the study, 4,800 were from Mumbai. Commuters said drivers of app-based cabs often call them and ask for drop location.“Hundreds of users indicated how drivers ask a user about the destination and then ask them to cancel the ride,” read the survey report.

“I tried to book a cab last Sunday from Vashi to Kalamboli and four drivers cancelled. I was charged ₹50 every time a driver cancelled. On Tuesday, I tried to book a cab from Kalamboli to Panvel, and two drivers cancelled. I tried to contact the Ola customer service, but no one responds,” said Tapasya Vinod, a Kalamboli resident. Commuters also stated that drivers cite low fuel, non-accessibility to location and lower chances of getting return rides as reasons for cancellations. While 36% riders among those surveyed by Local Circles said drivers cancelling rides was their top concern, 29% cited surge pricing. “Multiple drivers have cancelled on me for just one journey,” said Dr Charu Jain, a Byculla resident.

Passengers have also taken to social media to express their discontent. “I had all these experiences in few months.1.Driver calling up to find location/rate 2.Driver accepting route and on reaching counter offers 3. App shows some amount and on reaching it is doubled,” tweeted @peacearyap. The driver of an app-based cab service said ride refusals happen when drivers want to finish work. “I always inform the riders that I will only be able to go to a certain location if it’s on my route,” he said,