Ola, Uber cabs could be used to ferry poll staff on April 29
In a first, along with other vehicles, app-based cabs of taxi aggregators Ola and Uber may be hired for election duty on April 29.
In a recent meeting, the district administration for the island city asked the regional transport office (RTO) to check the possibility of hiring app-based cabs. An RTO official said so far they hired black-and-yellow cabs through unions a day before the polling day and used them to ferry the polling booth staff.
Shivaji Jondhale, district collector of Mumbai suburban district, said, “We are trying to tie up with Ola and Uber on a per-day basis.”
Although Uber did not respond to the query, Ola executives said they haven’t received any official communication from RTO. However, they unofficially said they would be keen to provide cabs for the election duty as a responsible corporate citizen.
It is learnt from RTO officials that the district administrations in the city and suburbs have registered a demand of about 20-25% more vehicles for the duty this time compared to 2014 elections. The list includes taxis, tempos, trucks and buses.
Goods vehicles such as trucks and tempos will be used for ferrying voting machines and other material, while buses will be used for police and other security agencies.
The administration will also hire black-and-yellow cabs and autorickshaws to provide pick up and drop facility to differently-abled voters.
In 2014, the district administration had hired 5,000 vehicles, including nearly 1,200 buses. For civic elections in February 2017, more than 3,000 black-and-yellow taxis were roped in.