Since when have you been a taxi driver?
I have a Maruti Suzuki Wagon R. I have been driving it as a taxi for Uber for almost two years now. I leave home at 8 am and return at 11 pm.
Is this your first job?
No. Earlier, I worked for a firm which provided supplies to Café Coffee Day. I was there for five years. I joined the company right after passing my Class 10 from a school near my home in Krishna Nagar in East Delhi. I had also appeared for Class 12 examination through open schooling but failed to clear it. Later, some people suggested I become a driver. They said it was profitable….
How much do you earn?
Of the amount billed to passengers, Ola/Uber deduct 26 per cent as commission. In a day, I manage to earn Rs 1,500, of which at least Rs 500 is spent on fuel. I am left with about Rs 900-1,000 a day. With this money, I have to maintain my car and family. I took a loan to buy the car and pay Rs 12,500 as EMI. Earlier, Ola/Uber had many incentives… This has stopped since 2015.
Is the job tough?
Sometimes, passengers can be abusive. When a passenger cancels a booking, a penalty is added to their bill. Then they start quarrelling. And there are some who leave without paying the full amount. Most of the training for drivers working with Ola and Uber happens through the app. I try and follow that while handling passengers.
The NITI Aayog says Ola/Uber have created 2 million jobs…
The government has not given us any job. I invested Rs 5-6 lakh (to buy a car) and then got a job. We did not get this job for free, by sending out our CV. We work for over 12 hours.