BENGALURU: When app-based aggregators Uber and Ola floated their services in the city, their biggest fear was facing a backlash from drivers of traditional taxis and autorickshaws whose businesses would stand to be affected. Their worst fears, though, weren’t realised.
Today, however, they’re facing the wrath from an unsuspecting quarter - their own drivers who are up in arms over remuneration being short of the lofty promises made.
Radhakrishna Holla, general secretary, Bengaluru Tourist Taxi Operators Association (BTTOA), said, “We had sent a representation to the Transport Department when app-based cab services launched in 2013 to regulate them. It’s not feasible to operate cabs at the same rate as autorickshaws. Initially, they promised huge incentives but now drivers don’t even earn half of the promised salary.”
Many cab drivers who joined Uber and Ola are now worried. Tanveer Pasha, president of Ola, TaxiForSure and Uber (OTU) Drivers’ and Owners’ Union, said, “App-based aggregators have betrayed drivers with false promises. Most drivers, who bought cars and joined app-based cabs are now on the verge of committing suicide.”
A senior transport department official said, “The protesting drivers should approach Labour Department for their grievances. We have asked drivers associations and app-based aggregators Uber and Ola to sort out all issues amicably.”
Commuters say app-based cabs have provided them cheap and safe rides. “I think Uber and Ola brought a revolution in the transport sector. Now, it is very easy to book a cab.”
Officials of Ola and Uber were unavailable for comment.