Monday no better: Ola, Uber strike partially called-off , commuters suffer

The indefinite strike by drivers working with Ola and Uber app-based cab aggregators was only partially called off on Sunday as five unions agreed to run taxis in Delhi-NCR following the Delhi government's assurance. 

However, Sarvodaya Driver Association of Delhi (SDAD) which claims to represent 1.5 lakh of drivers in Delhi-NCR, said that it has not withdrawn its strike which also continued on Monday, leading to a lack of cabs in several locations across Delhi. The average wait time for an Uber or Ola on Monday morning was anywhere between 17 minutes to 29 minutes. 

Drivers are protesting slashed incentives, increased commission rates, declining number of rides, long working hours and decreased earnings.

Uber, on its app, sent out a hurried explanation to commuters trying to book cabs.

“Over the past few days, certain groups of people have forcefully disrupted our services. Lakhs of drivers-partners have been affected. We’re working 24X7 to bring back the reliability you know and love about Uber,” the message said.

According to a report in Economic Times, drivers working with  Uber and Ola are planning to expand their strikes to other major cities such as Bengaluru and Chennai.

"Around 50,000 drivers across Bengaluru, up to 25,000 drivers in Hyderabad, and approximately 5,000 drivers in Chennai have planned to announce a strike on February 15 even as their agitation in the capital continues," the ET report said. 
Here is a quick recap of why Ola and Uber drivers went on strike:

Thousands of drivers are on the indefinite strike since Friday in Delhi-NCR to protest against "low fares" and "lack" of basic amenities Ola and Uber.

"The Transport Minister has assured us that their fares from the existing Rs 6 per km will be increased. In the meeting, the minister also assured drivers' unions that app-based cab aggregators including Ola and Uber will not charge 25 per cent commission on every booking," said Balwant Singh, President of Rajdhani Tourist Drivers' Union. 

As reported earlier, industry experts believe the flaw lies in implementing the model, which includes on-boarding excessive cabs and drivers on the platform to going back on promises of great returns.

“A driver needs roughly Rs 2,500 to Rs 3,000 daily to maintain his car and family. What they end up with is around Rs 1,500. The agitating drivers say they have been fooled by these companies, which promised them earnings of close to a lakh a month but they are earning just Rs 40,000 or less. These are the first signs of revolt. This will continue if they do not stop predatory pricing and make these cabs run at a loss,” said Siddhartha Pahwa, former CEO, Meru Cabs.

Ravi Rathore, vice president of Sarvodaya Driver Association of Delhi said, "Our union represents around 1.5 lakh drivers, who work with app-based cab aggregators in Delhi-NCR, and they all will remain on strike tomorrow as well. We will not call off our strike until our demands are met. We demand that fares be increased from the existing Rs 6 per km to Rs 21 per km. 25 per cent commission by aggregators on every booking should also be stopped."

Drivers in Hyderabad and Bengaluru have had similar demands but nowhere have the cab aggregators been able to find common ground till now.

As these cab services, that charge much less than the usual taxi services, have gone on strike, common man has been suffering a lot. For past three days, cabs have largely been unavailable to the commuters and those drivers who are still functional are charging way too much than the usual amount. People are finding it really difficult to reach their work place on time. 

Realising the gravity of this problem of the people, Delhi Metro said it will keep a close watch on the ridership and frequency of trains will be “adequate” to meet any increase in demand.


Well the @Uber_India and @Olacabs Taxi strike seems to have made a Passenger Wallet. Fares Increased in Delhi NCR

— D I P A K (@Rautela) February 13, 2017


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CLOSED @Uber_India with such messages when they are making payment

— MAYANK KASHYAP (@MakyMdi) February 13, 2017


@Uber_India ur charges will kick u out

— MAYANK KASHYAP (@MakyMdi) February 13, 2017

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