Get ready to pay more for app-based cabs

Bengaluru: As fuel prices have been hitting newer highs, drivers attached to cab aggregators Ola and Uber have been demanding a 15-20 percent increase in fares.

In the city, a cab ride on an average costs Rs 19 per kilometre. Of this, 30 per cent goes to the aggregators, while the remaining to drivers and owners.

Mr Tanveer Pasha, president, Ola, Taxiforsure and Uber Drivers’ and Owners’ Association, told Deccan Chronicle, “Cab drivers in Bengaluru are suffering huge losses because of the rules of the aggregators and hike in fuel prices. The recent hike in fuel prices is the main reason behind drivers demanding a fare hike. Over the last one year, the drivers have been unable to earn enough to pay their monthly EMIs of Rs 16,000 for their ordinary Tata Indica cars. Imagine the plight of drivers who have bought higher end cars."

Recently, the transport department revised the slab rates of taxi services based on the cost of the car. Under the proposed slabs, cabs that cost less than Rs 5 lakh can charge between Rs 11 and Rs 22 per km, for cars costing Rs 5-10 lakh, charges can be Rs 12 and Rs 24 per km, and taxis in Rs 10-16 lakh range can charge between Rs 16 and Rs 32 per km. But sources said most cab associations rejected the proposal and refused to implement it.

“We expect the Centre to take steps to reduce the fuel price. We know that it is a burden on the people, but we don’t have any option other than hiking the fares. We are asking for only Rs 2-3 hike in the present fare of Rs 19 per km. We request the transport department to form a committee that includes drivers, aggregators and government officials to arrive at a correct fare,” Mr Pasha said.

The city has over 70,000 cabs attached to both cab aggregators.

But commuters are complaining about higher fares already. Kavitha, a softer professional, said, “I booked a cab from Nagarbhavi to Koramangala. Normally, during non-peak hours, the fare comes to around RS 300-400. But once it showed me around Rs1,000 rupees. Officials from cab aggregator companies insisted that it was because of non-availability of cabs at that location. But there could be more to it. Cabs have become unaffordable and I now travel by auto.”

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