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Sharing a cab saves money, but check out the horrible shared cab riders you can ever get

The recent horror story of a woman being assaulted by a co-passenger makes us ask what pool riders face.

travel Updated: Jul 04, 2018 18:15 IST
Monika Rawal Kukreja
Monika Rawal Kukreja
Hindustan Times
Ola,Ubr,Shared cabs
Pooling is cost-effective and many have to go for it, but commuters we’ve spoken to have some seriously unpleasant stories to tell us.

The recent incident of a woman assaulted and abused by a co-passenger in Mumbai has raised a lot of questions about the safety of shared cabs. While some said that it’s common to have such co-passengers, others are of the opinion that the matter is getting undue publicity. Whatever the case be, one can’t disregard the fact that shared cab rides can, often, turn out to be a hell of an experience. Pooling is cost-effective and many have to go for it, but commuters we’ve spoken to have some seriously unpleasant stories to tell us.

“I must have committed a sin that I end up being the witness of people’s sob stories,” says Namita Gulati. “Once, this woman was ranting about her ex-husband and sharing details of her extra-marital affair with her best friend without bothering to acknowledge that there were two more people in the cab. She kept talking loudly for an hour at stretch.”

Also falling under this category are those, who love to play music or watch videos on their mobile on high volume without realizing that it’s not their private cab.

Another class of shared-cab passengers consists of those who’re always complaining — for being dropped last; for the route being taken; or because of another passenger’s drop-off. Recalling how he had to face the tantrums while sharing a cab with an elderly woman, Piyush Luthra says, “This 50-something aunty got her daughter to book the ride and my drop was before her. When we took the right turn, she created a scene and started shouting at the driver that how could he take a different route. She argued with me that I have no shame that a woman should get dropped first.”

Read | Mumbai woman attacked in Uber Pool cab by fellow passenger

Many users say they might not have come across horrifying incidents as such but just plain stupid stories of sad people who lack etiquette. Vandana Vashista, a freelance writer, recalls, “I was on my way to the hospital to see my mom and I had a bag, which I kept on the floor since I took a shared cab. But this guy next to me was all over the entire seat by himself, which is basically for three people with his backpack in the center on the backseat. He didn’t budge even slightly to make space for me until I asked him. And all this while, he pretended to be busy on his phone so that I wouldn’t ask him to move,” she recalls.

A man booking a ride on Ola.

While taking shared rides, waiting time is one concern that many don’t understand, as they shamelessly turn up late. “I was sharing the cab with another lady and a third pick-up was added. This girl made us wait for a long while and when she finally came, she waited for someone to come and pass on something to her. When the driver reminded her that it’s a shared cab and other passengers are waiting, she started arguing with him,” Vandana shares another incident.

And don’t be surprised if you come across co-passengers who could be potential stalkers. “Within half-an-hour of getting dropped at my location, I got a Facebook friend request from the man who was sharing the ride with me. I was shocked that just by first name, he was able to trace me on social media,” says a user, who later took up the matter with the cab service provider.

Another user shares that a man, who she shared the cab with and exchanged phone numbers for professional purposes, started messaging her every morning. “He’d be like ‘I’ve have just booked a cab, why don’t you also book the same cab’. One day, I was shocked when he told me that he’s taking his own car, so he could drop me anywhere on the way,” she adds.

Interact with Monika Rawal Kukreja at Twitter/@monikarawal

First Published: Jul 04, 2018 18:15 IST