Is the Auto, Taxi Strike a good thing?

By Ashwin

Posted on August 31, 2016 at 8:30 PM

While I was working in our Office, I asked my colleague whether he found something missing on the road today morning. He immediately understood that I was talking about the Rickshaw strike, shook his head and said "Accha hai" (It's good!)

"Accha hi hai!" exclaimed our office maid who seemed more happy than usual today.
And then the rant..
"Ye auto valo me bohot ghamand aa gaya hai" (These auto drivers have become egoistic)

The 'No Service' problem:
Then she went on to explain how the Auto drivers say "No" to wherever you want to go. She compared Auto Rickshaws with how Radio Cabs are helpful as they are on-demand and won't reject your request to travel to any destination. She told us that her daughter books a cab whenever they want to travel to a relative's place.
Such is the reach. Such is the impact!
"Aaj kitni Shanti hai road me" she finished. (There is so much peace on the road)

Auto rickshaws and Taxis are on a strike as they are agitating against Ola and Uber.

What are their demands?

Regulation - Stopping illegal transportation of commuters in private vehicles operated by drivers without badges (Okay!)

Stop Surge Pricing (Good for Us!!)

But it goes on...

Complete ban on aggregators like Ola and Uber

It's Weird, isn't it?

Why would you do a Strike and shut down your own Service to go against a Competitor?

Usually, in such cases, you can expect better Customer service and even a discount, but again we are facing the 'No Service' problem.

But if you can achieve results with a Strike then why not?

Wait. No way!


This is not the first time the Auto rickshaw and Taxi Unions have decided to have a strike to agitate against App based services.

In late 2015 the government had drafted the 'City Taxi Scheme 2015' for App based Cab aggregators.

Though most of the points in the scheme made a lot of sense:

All vehicles should have valid fitness certificate

Each vehicle should meet emission standards

Limiting driver work

Mandatory Safety features like Emergency contacts SOS

There were few points which concern Ola, Uber and most importantly 'Us'!

Should maintain a fleet of a minimum 1,000 and a maximum of 4,000 taxis.

Charge fees as prescribed by the transport authority.

These restrictions mean that the availability of cabs around will surely decrease. Fewer Car owners will vouch for joining Aggregators as Drivers as their pay will be affected and anyway the numbers of licenses are restricted. So Ola and Uber won't care enough to bring more drivers onboard.

Today Mumbai's Auto rickshaw and the Taxi Union are on a strike as the City Taxi Scheme '2015' is yet to be implemented. We are in the 9th month of 2016 - A gentle reminder for the uninitiated.

Now coming to the big question - How can we deal without Autos and Taxis? [and possibly without Ola and Uber]

Commuting in Mumbai is not easy - Traffic is bad! 20kms take 2 hours. No one likes to move at the speed of 10km per hour but we don't have a choice. Public transport is uncomfortably congested, and Cabs are too expensive for the daily commute.

Fewer vehicles on the road always mean that you reach the destination faster. Hence people using private vehicles to commute are always happy during such strikes.

Though, Removal of Rickshaws and Taxi wonbt be the right thing to do because as Mumbaikars we are accustomed to come out of our lane and look for that Black and Yellow thing.

P.S. - Ridesharing is another way to reduce vehicles on our roads. It is the most economical and smart way to commute to office and back home. Car owners reduce their daily commute cost and more importantly the traffic on the road. Others joining the pool travel comfortably at an affordable price.

WIN - WIN - WIN [Car Owner b Co Rider - Environment]

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