Several commuters in Mumbai will be inconvenienced today due to a strike called by warring transport union leaders in the city. While the Nitesh Rane led Swabhiman taxi auto union has called for a strike on Monday, the Mumbai Automen’s Union has called a similar strike on Wednesday.
These Mumbai taxis strikes are against private operators such as Uber and Ola which will be putting a million passengers through a lot of hassles, especially with schools having just opened and with the monsoon season having just commenced.
Taxi unions opine that taxi aggregators functioning in the city are putting their business in jeopardy. The black and yellow taxis are incurring huge losses due to the increased use of taxi aggregators. Commuters show more preference for Ola and Uber especially for long distance travel while they only opt for the regular taxis for shorter distances. Taxi unions said that these taxi aggregators were functioning illegally as they are not registered as taxis yet.
Though, their registration is not yet mandatory, the Maharashtra Transport Act will soon make it necessary for all taxi aggregators to register themselves with the state transport department.
Several factors have led to commuters opting for taxi aggregators over the regular ‘kaali peeli’ taxis. These include refusal by the black and yellow taxi drivers to commute certain distances. Booking of an Ola, Meru or Uber cab is possible via a mobile app while details of driver and cab are supplied well in advance of the journey.
The ride is comfortable and available throughout the day or night. Security features such as an SOS switch in the mobile app, sharing of trip, a GPS system and facilities of a quick incident response team have all proved to be advantageous over the black and yellow taxi services.