Mumbai: Unions plan to get 5,000 blacklisted app cab drivers back on road

Don’t keep your Uber cabbie waiting; its charges have gone up, while the wait-period has dropped. Unknown to Mumbaikars, the mobile aggregator driver unions are claiming that starting this week, the wait period has come down and fares have gone up. Not just this, the unions and cab operator Uber also discussed about reinstating blacklisted drivers who have been removed on frivolous grounds.

The meeting, according to Maharashtra Rajya Rashtriya Kamgar Sangh (MRRKS) union that represents drivers of these aggregator operators, was held on March 19, with Uber. However Ola has not responded to the meeting with the union yet. To begin with, the wait period of passengers taking Uber will bleed their pockets.

According to sources, the driver used to wait for 5 minutes before the meter starts ticking at Rs 3 per minute. “It has been two days since the time wait period has become 3 minutes and rate is Rs 3.15 per minute for Uber. However Ola hasn’t responded to us and we will decide future course of action soon,” confirmed Anand Kute, Organising Secretary, MRRKS.

Secondly, close to 5,000 drivers of aggregator cabs who have been blacklisted namely due to issues with passengers mostly over frivolous reasons, could be reinstated soon. This list was provided by the union to cab operator Uber. These drivers could be reinstated after next week, once the management takes a call over the list of drivers provided by the union.

Those drivers who have been blacklisted over serious allegations will not be reinstated. The unions have already asked the blacklisted drivers to keep documents ready for re-verification. There are currently 40,000 drivers – majority of whom working for Uber – on road although there are another 10,000-odd drivers who on a daily average remain off-road.

All through last year, almost another 50,000 drivers have returned to their native place. There are around 40,000 aggregator cabs that are on road. Recently a letter was written by MRRKS to Maharashtra Transport minister Anil Parab and aggregator companies demanding fare hike. They want the base fare to be Rs 100 and for subsequent kilometer, Rs 20-25.

Meanwhile Uber and Ola did not comment on the issues at the time of going to press.

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