In a move to disrupt the near-monopoly of private cab aggregators like Uber and Ola, a group of 3,000 cab drivers in Chennai have come together to launch their own app. According to a report in the Times of India, Ottunar Thozhargal Sangam, a organisation associated with the Centre of Indian Trade Unions, plans to roll out the app in March.
Uber and Ola have increasingly come under fire for collecting hefty commissions from drivers and charging cancellation fee and surge prices from customers. The ToI report quotes Sampath, one of the members involved in setting up the app as saying, “The idea is to ensure that the passengers are not fleeced and drivers too enjoy the benefits of app-based cab bookings. At present, cab aggregators collect 20%-21% of the total earnings of drivers as commission over and above the Goods and Services Tax (GST). In OTS taxis, drivers will be charged only 7% along with 5 % GST towards this head.”
Those putting the new app together promise that the charges to customer would only take into account the total distance travelled. The app also promises not to charge any hidden fees or charges for changing the destination point during the journey.
The organisers behind the launch of this new app have approached the BSNL telecom company for a memorable contact number. Efforts are also on to work out a fare slab according to the model of the car.
The new app is expected to be launched in March this year.
Of the 3,000 cab drivers that have come together for launching the app, 1,200 are expected to work in the suburbs while the rest will cater to the city.
In January, nearly 40, 000 cab drivers working with Uber and Ola had gone on a strike in the city over the low incentives, ambitious targets and a lack of transparency in the fare breakdown.