Bengaluru cab strike forces many to rent cars

Many self-drive and carpooling companies in the city say they have had an increase in the number of enquiries due to the ongoing cab strike.

Published: 28th February 2017 06:13 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th February 2017 06:13 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Two years ago, Indiranagar resident T Vinay sold his car after he found it difficult to navigate through city’s traffic and realised that hiring app-based aggregator cabs would work out cheaper.
“It’s tough to drive in this congested traffic and to find a parking space. App-based aggregators offer a cheaper ride considering the rising maintenance costs of vehicles and fuel prices,” Vinay said.

But with the cab strike clocking a week, many like Vinay are now exploring other alternatives. Rent-a-car service tops the list apart from bike and car pooling options. “I never expected this strike to continue for more than a week. It’s not feasible to travel in the congested BMTC buses or to bargain with the autorickshaw drivers, especially during peak hours. So I had to rent-a-car from a private firm for the last one week to go to office,” he said.

The indefinite strike by drivers working with app-based cab aggregators Ola and Uber entered the sixth day on Monday. Many self-drive and car pooling companies in the city, including Zoom Car, Volercars, Mychoize and Mylescars say they have had an increase in the number of enquiries due to the ongoing cab strike.

Many rent-a-car companies are also delivering vehicles at the doorsteps of the customers under hourly rental charge. Customers can book the cars online by submitting their driving licence and residential proof.
“It does not make sense to own a car, especially when we change cities,” says Nirmal Jacob, a resident of Madiwala who  rented a car due to the strike.

“It was difficult to manage the car I had because of the lack of parking space at home. I had to park it outside. But miscreants often scratched the paint and damaged the mirrors, especially at night. So I sold it and now I depend on Uber or Ola to commute from one place to another, but this strike was unexpected,” he said.

There is also a demand for rent-a-bike services due to the strike. “I came to the city for a week but most app-based taxis were on strike. So I took a bike on rent. It’s cheaper than taxi rides,” said Daniel Sebestian, a resident of Shanthinagar.

Rapido, which was city’s lone bike taxi operator, recently stopped services after the Transport Department warned them for operating without permission.

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