By Siddhartha Sarma
Tired of getting the shorter end of the stick in their association with app-based taxi hailing aggregators, Ola and Uber drivers are now working on putting in place their own mobile application. Nearly 8,000 cabbies are supposedly backing the idea of the new app which is still in nascent stages.
“We were to start discussing the logistics of the app with JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy during the protest at Freedom Park but he could not come due to health concerns. Nevertheless, he has promised his support,” said Tanveer Pasha, president of Uber, TaxiForSure and Ola Drivers and Owners Association.
Pasha said the core committees which include the heads of various driver unions, will ensure the launching of the app. “After the announcement, the app will be ready in a month. We are going to work on its software as well as infrastructure requirements like office space and customer service side by side,” he said.
According to Pasha, Kumaraswamy said the drivers should be their own masters and should not bow down before anyone else. “He was upset by the way foreign companies are treating us. He has promised to help us meet software engineers for technical assistance as well as support us monetarily,” he said.
He said the drivers’ strike seeking an end to dynamic pricing among other things is still on, and nearly 50% of drivers have not logged into their devices.
“There are some drivers who have logged in due to extenuating circumstances. Those with leased vehicles were forced into it while others did it to due to financial hardship. We want to give them a proper solution and gather in large numbers to make the announcement regarding the app after our meeting with HDK,” he said.