Former Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy is set to invest in a new cab-aggregator app which will hail cabs run by driver partners who have failed to settle their differences with Uber and Ola.
The app is touted to be called HDK Cabs, reported Deccan Herald.
The Times of India reported that the app was purportedly in its final stages of development and that the name was chosen by the drivers themselves as he lent them support when they went for strike.
Disagreement between driver partners of both popular cab aggregators Ola and Uber over the issue of incentives have been on for some time now. The drivers allege that the lack of incentives have left them in the lurch as they are struggling to repay their loans.
“The companies and the government have failed the drivers. In the interest of the drivers, I have decided to extend all cooperation to introduce a new app-based platform by Ugadi which will be run by the drivers themselves,” Kumaraswamy said on Saturday.
“These drivers come from a rural background. They have bought vehicles on loans believing that Ola and Uber will help them come up in life. However, one lakh such drivers have suffered a lot in the past one year,” Kumaraswamy added.
With the state set to go to the polls next year, the former Chief Minister and son of a former PM said that if the JDS comes to power, the government will provide housing to the drivers.
“I will consider group housing projects for drivers. If JD(S) comes to power, I will work to find comprehensive solutions for your problems,” he said.
Tanveer Pasha, President of the Ola, TaxiForSure and Uber Drivers' Association said that more than 10 drivers’ unions have come together to enroll drivers for the new app.
“We estimate support from 35,000 drivers which can go down to 10,000 in the worst-case scenario. But it will definitely stay above 10,000,” Pasha was quoted saying in the DH report.
Stating that the new app will be service-oriented rather than a profit focused company, Pasha said, “Kumaraswamy told us to form a welfare fund by pooling 6% of our earnings every month. This fund will be utilised to help drivers who are in need.”
We are tentatively calling it Taxi for Ride. We have already got an app. But are waiting for investors within the state. We turned away investors from outside since we don’t feel secure,” the leader told DH.