Mumbai: The coronavirus outbreak has dampened the business of intercity taxi drivers with Mumbaikars preferring to stay indoors. The taximen’s association informed that business has dropped by 50 per cent over the last weekend, as many of the intercity services remained cancelled.
“We recorded a fall by 50 per cent in our business. People have chosen to stay back instead of going on intercity tours, which is why we have been facing a loss,” said Arif Khan, assistant secretary of the association.
“Fewer number of people have taken trips to getaways like Lonavala and Pune this weekend,” Khan added.
On Monday evening, the trustee board of Dadar's Siddhi Vinayak temple notified that the temple would be remain shut for an indefinite period as a precautionary measure against the dreaded COVID-19. This has made taxi drivers plying in Dadar and Prabhadevi area frown.
Sharing taxis outside Dadar and Prabhadevi station offer shuttle service to the temple, charging Rs 10 per seat. “Most of the taxi drivers are now dependent on the sharing cab service, because with the emergence of app-based cabs, people hardly opt for kaali-peelis,” said Sudhir Pawar, a taxi-driver.
“We used to earn the maximum of our monthly revenue from the shuttle service. With the closure of the temple, our business is badly hit now” said Dipak Shinde, a sharing kaali-peeli owner.
Also, with less number of Mumbaikars coming out on the roads, the BrihanMumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking has also witnessed a fall in its rider-ship. However, the management body of the transport undertaking has strictly ordered the depot managers to supervise cleaning drives.
“We are not allowing the buses to hit roads unless they are disinfected before their journey. BEST workers are cleaning the seats, handrails and rods with disinfectants before the bus leaves its original bus station and after it has reached its destination,” said Manoj Varade, spokesperson of the BEST.