Uber, Ola, watch out! Cabbies’ body set to roll out own app

A group of cab drivers in Hyderabad have announced they would launch a taxi-services aggregator app to compete with global players Uber and Ola.

Office-bearers of Telangana Cab Drivers and Owners Association (TCDOA) on Saturday told mediapersons that work on the yet-to-be-named app is underway and will make service conditions conducive to drivers.

The association had protested against the two popular cab aggregators, claiming that some of its own members use those services.

“We engaged two Hyderabad-based tech companies to develop the app for us. Work has been on for about eight months. In about a month, we expect it to become launch-ready in the city,” said Shiva Vulkundakar, TCDOA president.

He added that the app will provide an umbrella of services for the cab driver, including car-related and financial services, besides helping find passengers.

Eight-hour job

TCDOA did not announce setting up of a corporate entity to run the cab services. Mr. Vulkundakar said the association itself will run the service, with technical partners. The USP of the app, according to him, is that a driver would only drive for eight hours.

“A driver can log in at any hour with time provided for breakfast, lunch or dinner. We plan to put in most of a driver’s earnings for driver welfare through the app to make cab driving a white-collar job. Our revenue will be from commissions earned on providing driver’s services,” he said.

Explaining their motive behind starting their business, the association’s members said in the past they approached the government and cab aggregators with demands to improve work conditions for drivers, but their demands were not met.

Now, they claim they have approached the government again, this time to support their app, and have also worked out a tariff but are not willing to discuss the financial aspect at this point.

“Investments for developing the app are coming from tech companies, but a part of funding will also come from enrolment fees which will be collected in phases from drivers,” said Mr. Vulkundakar, adding that enrolments are on.

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Printable version | Jun 19, 2021 2:12:01 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/uber-ola-watch-out-cabbies-body-set-to-roll-out-own-app/article23788274.ece

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