Bengaluru Auto Drivers Revolt Against Uber, Ola: Launch Their Own App: “Namma Yatri”
Every now and then, we get to hear that there is friction between the overtake aggregators and ride-hailing giants – such as Ola and Uber and the auto unions or drivers.
In business, we see how corporates do forward and backward integration, to enjoy larger share of pie.
In a similar context but different player, it is now the auto unions who have decided to employ this technique, and of course, to increase their pie!
“Namma Yatri” App to Charge Government-Fixed Fares
Auto unions in Bengaluru shall launch their own mobile app, called “Namma Yatri”, on November 1.
The app which will be launched by Autorickshaw Drivers Union (ARDU), will be partnership with the Beckn Foundation.
Notably, this entity is backed by Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani.
All of this comes from the fact that cab drivers faced endless problems, which includes high fuel costs, high commissions paid to the aggregator per ride, which is said to as high as 30 per cent, EMI repayments on their vehicles, harsh working conditions with impossible targets and unbeatable traffic congestions.
The president of the Autorickshaw Drivers Union, D Rudramurthy said that fares for the Namma Yatri app will be as per the government-fixed rate.
He said that “We will collect an additional ?10 as pick-up charges. We also plan to launch a flat ?40 fare in 2 km radius between Metro stations and residences or offices”.
There is another auto union, which goes by name Peace Auto, who has plans to launch a similar app called ‘Rook’ in partnership with a Bengaluru-based mobility firm on Gandhi Jayanti. However, the date got postponed.
As per the drivers, they were losing customers who fumed over the unreasonably high fares charged by the ride-hailing apps.
Aggregators charge around ?100 for the first two kilometres when the minimum auto rickshaw fare has been fixed at ?30.
The Public Backlash Over Fares
Meanwhile, on social media, a debate was ongoing where in a Twitter user said that “Average fares of @Ola_Bangalore @Uber_BLR autos r Rs.100 any time of the day for a mere 2.5 kms distance (Rs.40/km) to upcoming Hulimavu metro station on Bannerghatta road. How can v expect greater adoption of public transport wit expensive last mile connectivity? (sic)”.
“Exactly. This ?99 for minimum rides is for all times of the day irrespective of peak hours. Adopting this, auto drivers also demand ?100 for minimum rides. Why? Are startups given a free hand to charge whatever they wish in #Bengaluru? @CPBlr @DgpKarnataka,” a Twitter user called Raj replied.
This hue and cry reached the ears of the Karnataka Transport Department. The department then ordered them to stop auto rickshaw service in the city in three days, in the light of several complaints by customers on Ola and Uber overcharging practices.
Based on these complaints by citizens, around 292 cases were slapped cases on the ride-hailing apps by the department.