The entry of cab aggregators like Ola and Uber in the market has made an adverse effect on the businesses of kaali-peeli taxis in Mumbai. Expressing their displeasure against the cab aggregators and to compete with reigning apps in the market, Mumbai’s two biggest taxi unions with over 35,000+ strong community of traditional kaali-peeli taxis have come together, and launched their own app called “9211”.
Same as how Uber and Ola works, 9211 app will allow users to locate and book cabs. While offering services as per Government approved rates (INR 22 for first 1.5 kms), the app will also have safety features for women such as SOS button and GPS tracking, wherein all the movements of the attached cabs would be monitored via a centralised control room.
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Currently, the app will have cash payments option only, while the online payment options will soon be introduced.
Prem Singh, leader of Mumbai Taxi Association said, “All kali-peeli drivers (totaling 35,000 in MMR) will be asked to enroll for the app, which ideally should be used by customers to book taxis across the city.”
All in all, the numerical advantage is clearly with these cabbies, as Uber/Ola have a total of 14,000 cabs in Mumbai, wherein the kaali-peeli taxis have over 35,000. Despite the advantage, a lot will also depend on whether or not the unions can match, and outmatch the professionalism and innovation brought to the niche, by the said companies.
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