Taxi-hailing apps unleash taxing times for commuters

Surge pricing is the norm, even in non-peak hours

Cab aggregator apps are an option that has zoomed forth before the city commuters in the past three to four years for easy and comfortable movement.

Vexed with the overcrowded city buses and overcharging autorickshaws, several commuters from middle and higher income brackets shifted to cabs, thanks to the attractive prices they initially offered.

Cab aggregators such as Ola and Uber are a prominent reason why autorickshaws were put out of business, and there was no enforcement of their metered price. However, with time, the charges of cab aggregators have spiralled, and now, many cannot afford to pay the ‘surge prices’ that flash even during slack hours.

“Even to book a cab under ‘pooling’ option, it costs me double the metered amount of autorickshaws. This is during non-peak hours, around 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. During office hours, the charges are very high,” said Vijaya Lakshmi, a commuter.

The surge prices shoot up in times of general emergencies, such as heavy rain and traffic jams. Tabs are kept on individual emergencies too! Reports have it that the prices are deliberately kept high when the mobile charge is about to die, with the app having permissions to collect battery information.

The Road Transport Authority exercises no control over the cab aggregators, or the arbitrary and unmetered surge prices they charge from customers.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2020 3:00:07 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/taxi-hailing-apps-unleash-taxing-times-for-commuters/article30079944.ece

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