App-based cab op­er­a­tors ha­rass com­muters

Even driv­ers have to suf­fer due to the long work­ing hours and the com­mis­sions taken from their fares.

The Sunday Guardian - - Nation -

Lack of reg­u­la­tion of app­based pri­vate cab ag­gre­ga­tors in the na­tional cap­i­tal has left both cab driv­ers and com­muters at the mercy of these cab op­er­a­tors who are ex­ploit­ing the cab driv­ers and over-charg­ing com­muters.

While com­muters have been com­plain­ing about the abrupt peak or surge pric­ing by app-based cab ag­gre­ga­tors with­out any ex­pla­na­tion or trans­parency in their pol­icy, driv­ers have been com­plain­ing about the lack of in­cen­tives and dif­fi­cult work­ing hours. Payel Singh, a regu- lar com­muter who uses one of the app-based pri­vate cab ser­vices in Delhi, said that she of­ten has to shell out dou­ble the price for her travel as cab op­er­a­tors charge on their whims and fan­cies.

Singh said, “Al­though these app-based cab ser­vices have made life eas­ier, they have started over-charg­ing their con­sumers. Now that they have ac­tu­ally made us de­pen­dent on their ser­vices due to the con­ve­nience fac­tor, their charges have gone through the roof. We end up pay­ing noth­ing less than Rs 18-22 per km with these cabs. With no reg­u­la­tion in place, they charge large sums of money, but this prac­tice has gone unchecked.”

Priyank Me­hta, an­other com­muter, said: “On 2 Oc­to­ber, I had booked an Uber for just 3 km, but ended up pay­ing Rs 100 for the trip, which works out to over Rs 32 per km. This is in clear vi­o­la­tion of the Delhi gov­ern­ment’s present fare struc­ture rules. How­ever, no ac­tion is taken against such er­rant com­pa­nies be­cause there is no law to pros­e­cute them. They keep charg­ing on the ba­sis of their own fare me­tre. The gov­ern­ment needs to step in to check such mis­use of ser­vices.”

Not just con­sumers, but even driv­ers have com- plained about the ill-treat­ment meted out to them by these “big for­eign” com­pa­nies, who make them work for 12 to 14 hours a day with­out any in­cen­tives. The driv­ers also have to suf­fer due to huge cuts in com­mis­sion from their fares.

Dheeraj, a reg­u­lar driver with Uber, told this cor­re­spon­dent that they are be­ing ex­ploited and have been cheated both by the gov­ern­ment and pri­vate cab op­er­a­tors. “We work for noth­ing less than 14 hours a day to make some ex­tra money, be­cause these com­pa­nies have started charg­ing a hefty com­mis­sion from us. Ear­lier, they used to pay us in­cen­tives for driv­ing with them, but now, they are charg­ing us money. At the end of the day, af­ter pay­ing our EMIs for the car and com­mis­sion and fuel cost, we are left with lit­tle money to take back home.” Dheeraj said. Last year, the Delhi gov­ern­ment had promised to bring out a reg­u­la­tion for these app-based pri­vate cab ag­gre­ga­tors, but noth­ing seems to have moved for­ward on this front. Calls and mes­sages to Delhi gov­ern­ment spokesper­son and Delhi Trans­port Min­is­ter Kailash Gahlot yielded no re­sponse.

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