Taxi drivers cash in on poll windfall, office-goers suffer

If you have been struggling to find a cab to go to work lately, blame it on the upcoming elections.

Published: 24th April 2018 02:26 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th April 2018 04:44 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: If you have been struggling to find a cab to go to work lately, blame it on the upcoming elections. With a lot of logistics involved in getting the candidates and their supporters as well as party workers to the right place on time, taxi owners and drivers are logging off from their daily duties and tending to the needs of politicians.

While aggregators like Ola and Uber are yet to face a serious crunch of drivers, regular commuters say it has become harder to find cabs.

“Wait times for app-based cabs have gone up from 2-3 minutes to over 12-15 minutes in the past week. Rates too are higher. I usually pay Rs 180 to get to office but of late I have been paying surge charges of up to Rs 260 sometimes,” said Valerie Joseph, who works in CV Raman Nagar.

For drivers, election duty is a more stable job and the pay is often better. Many drivers also have political beliefs or a favourite party or politician that they want to work under as well. “From the moment campaigning starts, drivers are in demand. I have managed to find work for my brother to drive a vehicle with a mounted TV screen that plays party advertisements.

I myself have been working as a driver ferrying a senior party worker around. They offered employment for a month till the time that the results are out and chances are I could get a permanent job as well if my performance is good,” said Ramaiah S, a driver from Kolar.

Traffic jams

The most hit from all the election hoopla have been the daily office-goers who besides having to spend more time looking for a cab, also have to deal with traffic jams caused due to political rallies. With filing of nominations started from last week, several candidates in the city are taking out huge rallies enroute the centre. “Our street in Indiranagar was jam packed on Monday morning when I was leaving for office. It was a pain to get through the rally. These kind of shows of support only result in the normal citizens being harassed and hating the politicians more,” said Akshay Rao, a resident of Jeevanbhimanagar.

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