BENGALURU: When was the last time you crossed a toll booth in the city and were left confused over whether you or the cab operator should pay? Almost always?
With app-based cab aggregators, including Ola and Uber, maintaining ambiguity over toll charges being included in rides, commuters and drivers are caught in a bind.
The primary toll stretches in the city include highways leading to Kempegowda International Airport (KIA), Devanahalli, Nelamangala, Electronics City, Hoskote and NICE Road.
Uber says commuters don’t need to pay any charges on tolled highways in the city since it is inclusive in the bill. Ola, however, clarified that toll charges are inlcuded in the bill only for rides to the airport. Commuters taking other tolled highways have to pay the charges in addition to the fare.
In a statement, Uber said, “Upfront fares are calculated using an algorithm that takes into consideration the expected time and distance of the trip, local traffic patterns, demand and supply at a given location and toll charges, if any.”
A spokesperson for Ola said, “Commuters using tolled roads in the city, except the airport route, have to pay themselves. If any of our drivers on the airport route demanded toll charges in addition to the total bill, then customers can contact us. We will refund the amount after verification.”
Many regular cab commuters complain there is no clarity on toll charges as app-based cab aggregators don’t mention it in the bill. They say cab drivers going to the airport demand additional toll charges even though cab aggregators already charge toll in the bill.
A person travelling in a private vehicle from the city to the airport does not need to pay toll charges but while returning from the airport, one needs to pay a toll of `125.
“One of my friend book the Ola a week back and he was harassed by the driver of the cab in order to pay the Toll tax (sic)”, tweeted Soham Chowdhury.
Cab drivers admit that they have had heated exchanges with passengers over payment of toll charges.
S Manjunath, an Ola driver, said: “I took the Electronics City flyover to reach Bommasandra from Shanthi Nagar. When I asked the passenger to pay the toll fee, he refused.
He argued with me for a long time. Cab aggregators should tell customers in advance whether toll charge is included or not.”
A senior official of a cab aggregator said, “Sometimes, GPS can’t track whether a car is moving through a tolled stretch or not. For instance, a car taking the Electronics City flyover will have to pay toll charges but the road below the flyover also leads in the same direction so GPS may not able to track it properly. Commuters can decide whether the driver should take the traffic-free flyover or the road below.”