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After Bangalore, Ola Drivers Now Protest In Chennai

After Bangalore, Ola Drivers Now Protest In Chennai

Bangalore-based cab aggregator Ola is facing continuous protests from its driver partners due to various reasons.

In one such incident, nearly 100 drivers on Wednesday gathered at the Chennai office to mark their objection on recent changes in price and incentive plans. The drivers are now forced to take up to nine rides during the peak hours, and were not rewarded if they fail to do so.

The price cuts in per kilometre are not only putting drivers at loss, but also dependence on start rating by customers, is eating up their incentives. “We have placed 20 requests to Ola. Ola Micro, which offers rides at INR 6 per kilometre, does not pay drivers enough. Plus, we do not earn a rupee of incentives if we fail to achieve 15 rides a day. Also, we do not want star rating, “ said those outside the office to ET.

Earlier this week, on Monday, Ola drivers also protested in Bangalore over the seizure of their vehicles by transport authorities. The step was taken by the government in lieu of licence issues and surge pricing by cab companies.

According to the affected drivers, while Ola and Uber reimburse the fines that drivers pay to the authorities, this time round they are insisting that drivers must resolve the problem on their own. The drivers also claim that they have been penalised for various offences including crossing BBMP limits, not having a ‘City taxi’ board on their vehicle, not having a GPS installed, and not having a sticker of the taxi aggregator, among other things.

Whatever be the issues, drivers are the ones who are suffering the most. A couple of months back, cab aggregator space was among the highest paying sector, making drivers earn close to INR 90, 000 per month. But now, the per-day incomes have slipped to INR 600-700. Many have opted for other part time jobs, just to keep paying the car’s EMI.

Our Take

Ola is currently being valued at $5 Bn and has to date raised around $1.1 Bn in seven rounds of funding. Amidst all these protests, it is certainly clear that government is all set to curb the monopoly and autocratic behaviour of all cab aggregators in the country and thereby affecting the lives of thousands of associated drivers. Now that Ola has asked 10 days to sort out all issues, driver’s response on whether to continue work or not with the company will be interesting to look out for.

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