DRIVERS of cab aggregators Ola and Uber have threatened to go on a strike from October 12 if the state government fails to increase the base fares of their services. The drivers have complained that they are suffering operational losses due to increased fuel prices and low base fares compared to rickshaw and taxi fares.
While the base fare for a rickshaw ride is Rs 18 for the first 2 km, it is Rs 22 for black-and-yellow taxis. Drivers of Ola and Uber have complained that a base fare of Rs 6 per kilometre makes their business unviable.
“We will address the Chief Minister and State Transport Minister Diwakar Raote on Friday and ask them to consider our complaint and increase the base fares. If they do not do the same, we will call a strike. As many as 80,000 to one lakh drivers on the platform are expected to join us,” said Raju Patil from the Sangharsh Taxi Chalak Malak Sanghatana.
Patil complained about the delay in implementation of the Maharashtra City Taxi Scheme, 2016, that has suggested an increase in the minimum base fares for app-based cabs. “Almost two years later, we are yet to see implementation of the tourist cab policy in the state. Almost a year has passed since the state-appointed committee gave its recommendation on the minimum and maximum base fares. But there is no movement on it. Our losses are mounting and there is no update on the implementation of the policy,” Patil added.
Another workers’ union, the Maharashtra Rajya Rashtriya Kamgar Sangh, has said it will approach Uber’s office on October 22 to demand an increase in the salaries of the drivers. The members demanded that base rates be increased between Rs 18 and Rs 23 depending on the type of car.
“Almost 2,000 drivers from across Maharashtra are expected to join us that day. The cab companies have often deducted our salaries if customers complain against us. The rising rates of petrol and diesel also affects our operations,” said Sudhir Bhosale from the organisation.
Ola and Uber both refused to comment on the matter.