KOZHIKODE: One more online taxi operator, Ola Cabs, which had started operations in the city on a trial basis for the last two months, has pulled out due to a series of attacks on its drivers, cabs and staff. Launched without any fanfare, the operators were trying to fill the space left by another online cab service provider, Mango Cabs, which had to move out recently after launching the service in a big way.
The online cab service providers lament that they are operating peacefully in all districts of the state except in Kozhikode. "Even in the highly politicised Kannur district we have no problem," they said. The Ola Cabs had a fleet of around 40 cars which they had to call back as the attacks increased. Many of the car owners and drivers registered with Ola Cabs are worried about the future course of action. It may be recalled that the services of online taxi companies, Uber, Mango and Ola cabs, have become popular in Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram and many other districts.
Only the traditional cab owners and drivers oppose the cabs while the general public want the facility. For the last many months, the clash between traditional cabbies and the hi-tech operators has been continuing as the former allege that they would lose their jobs.
As per the launching tariff, one can go in the basic model cab for Rs 99 for the first four km and then Rs 10 and Rs 11 per km respectively for AC and non-AC cars. Mango Cabs general manager (Kerala), Vishnu A. Kumar told DC that online cab service providers face such crude resistance only in Kozhikode. There are thousands who depend on the cab service to eke out a living. "In Kochi alone over 20,000 persons are working for online cab service providers", he pointed out.