If numbers are to be believed, the black-and-yellow taxis have seen a sharp drop, while their arch-rivals, the app-based aggregators, have increased in numbers in the past two years.
According to Hindustan Times, the number of black-and-yellow taxis in south Mumbai has seen a sharp drop – from 57,810 in 2016-17 to 44,566 in 2018-19. The number of tourist taxis, a majority of which are used by app-based aggregators, has increased to 74,911 in 2018-19, from 60,752 two years ago. The number of autorickshaws, meanwhile, has gone up to 2.12 lakh, from 1.37 lakh in 2016-17. The regional transport officers (RTO) have said that the dip is despite the state de-freezing the permits for both autorickshaws and taxis from 2017, after a 20-year gap.
AL Quadros, veteran leader of cabbies in Mumbai told the leading daily, “Due to tough working conditions, new drivers don’t want to drive taxis now. They do not want to work for 12 hours or more. Instead, they prefer to work as a driver on private vehicles.” AV Shenoy of Mumbai Mobility Forum told the leading daily, “Ola-Uber cabs are unaffordable due to surge pricing. Rickshaws are not comfortable riding long distances and can’t ply in the island city. The dwindling number of black-and-yellow taxis is bad news for island city passengers. BEST, even with the increased strength, can’t fill up this gap.”