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Booking a cab was never this easy — at the press of a button on your smartphone. The comfort that taxi aggregators have brought to commuters in Mumbai has paid off and Ola and Uber have bypassed the popularity of the traditional black and yellow taxis or kaali peelis.
The popularity of app-based cabs can be seen through numbers as well — at least eight times more number of new tourist cabs were registered in the city in 2016 compared to the year before. New registrations increased further last year — while in 2014-15, only 2,000-odd new cabs were registered with the Regional Transport Office in Mumbai, in 2016-17, there were at least 10 times more new registrations.
Almost all “tourist cabs” are operated by taxi aggregators like Ola and Uber. Today, there are a total of 59,917 tourist cabs plying in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, a significantly high number compared to the 55,343 kaali peelis.
Transportation study expert A V Shenoy attributed the rise in popularity of cab aggregators to the “edge” such taxis have over the regular kaali peelis. “Aggregator taxis will come to your doorstep for pick up and will drop you off at the exact location. You can make online payment and don’t have to haggle over the prices. That’s a big advantage for commuters compared to the kaali peelis,” said Shenoy. The popularity soared despite surge pricing and many drivers pulling out of aggregator-based services last year. There was a 66 per cent drop in the number of new registrations of cabs between April and September last year.