Drivers attached to two popular taxi aggregators threatening to stay off the road if the State government does not put a cap on the commissions taken from them by the companies.
Several hundred drivers attached to aggregators Ola and Uber staged a protest at the Town Hall against the Transport Department on Sunday, asking for enforcement of the taxi aggregator rules introduced last year.
While the rules state that commissions charged by app-based taxi services to drivers be fixed at 10%, the two aggregators have hiked it to more than 30% in the past two months. “This does not leave us with enough money to pay off our loans and for expenses,” said Srinivas, a driver who participated in the protest.
The threat of a strike by the drivers has remained for the past month or so. In late December, a flash protest was held at the Kempegowda International Airport by drivers who had alleged that flat rate schemes introduced by the aggregators for rides to the airport were resulting in huge earning cuts. The strike planned on December 30 and 31 was subsequently put off.
However, on Sunday, drivers said they would not back down.
“We want these company representatives to give an assurance to the government that our earnings are protected. They lured us with the promise of good income, but the aggregators are now reaping the benefits of the popularity by leaving us behind. While we get paid ₹4 to ₹5 a km, companies are charging up to ₹19.50,” Tanveer, a driver, alleged.
The Karnataka on Demand Transportation Technology Aggregator Rules, introduced last year, has been challenged by Uber and is being examined by a division Bench of the High Court of Karnataka.