Cab drivers go on strike in Chennai; Ola, Uber surge prices upto three times

The protesters claimed that cab drivers are being exploited by these cab aggregators.

A large number of cab drivers in Chennai went on a strike following which commuters had to pay exorbitant prices on cab-hailing apps Ola and Uber. The cab drivers are affiliated with the Centre of India Trade Unions and went on a strike on Wednesday to protest against the measly incentives, ambitious targets and lack of transparency in fare charges in cab aggregator companies. The protesters claimed that cab drivers are being exploited by these cab aggregators.

They have also urged the government to levy standard auto meters for all call taxis and also to relax the eight-hours-per-day schedule. V Athimulam, Treasurer of Chennai 'Thozhargal' unorganized car driver association said that it is impossible to earn Rs 3000 a day if they work only for eight hours a day, according to a report in The New Indian Express. He says that a cab driver has to drive around 250-300 km every day within Chennai only to earn Rs 2000. On top of that, after spending on fuel, they are left only with Rs 450 to Rs 500 per day.

P Anabazhagan, President of Tamil Nadu Call Taxi Owners and Drivers Association says that government should permit rules that allow two drivers for cars, so that they can operate tourist cars for more than 12 hours.
Drivers protested near the Chepauk Stadium and raised slogans asking the government to protect the livelihood of around 60,000 families involved in the cab service business.

Around 40,000 vehicles went on the strike, following which Ola and Uber increased their normal fare by about three times. They increased their base fare by 50-60 per cent, a report in Times of India mentions.

Not only that, commuters also had to wait for 20-30 minutes for a cab for pick up. Chennai airport, Old Mahabalipuram Road, Koyambedu Bus Stand and Central and Egmore railway stations were some of the worst hit by this strike. In fact, according to reports, the fare from the airport to the Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminus increased to Rs 450, as opposed to Rs 230 on normal days.