Bengaluru: Drivers’ unions working with Ola and Uber have decided to launch their own cab-hailing app, after the cab aggregator companies and the Transport Department refused to heed to their demands.
“We will launch the new app, Taxi For Ride. It has already been developed, but is yet to be released. We are looking for investors. The office, monitoring system, staff and others are being worked upon,” said Mr Kiran Gowda, state president, Karunada Rajya Taxi Owners and Drivers Association.
The Taxi For Ride service will, for example, have fixed meter rates as set by the state government.
“We will have Rs 19.5 for AC cabs and Rs 14.5 for Non AC cabs per kilometre. There will be no incentives for drivers. They now earn only around Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,500 per day. We will assure them of Rs 2,500 returns a day,” Mr Gowda said, adding that the rate of commission will be 10%.
“From the driver's trip, the company will take 10%. Of this, 5-8 % will go for maintenance of systems, app, staff and office. We are aiming for a small staff size, relying more on technology. There will be no surge pricing or extra night charges of any form,” he said. Though it is not clear as to how the remaining 2-5% will suffice as company’s earnings, Mr Gowda said that they were still working out the math.
Transport Commissioner M.K. Aiyappa formed a committee recently to fix the minimum fare for cabs. While he confirmed that this is yet to be fixed, Taxi For Ride is setting its own minimum price.
“For a mini-cab, the minimum fare will be Rs 10 and for bigger ones like sedan with car trunks it will be a minimum of Rs 13. The licence and approval of the new app will be finalised in the coming days,” Mr Gowda said.
This development comes after repeated strikes and protests at Freedom Park, with drivers complaining of lack of promised compensation and incentives by Uber and Ola companies.
Protests became violent and later turned political with the support from State Janata Dal (Secular) president H.D. Kumaraswamy, who helped the 15 unions get permission to stage a protest....