For the last five days, cab aggregators Ola and Uber have been at loggerheads with their drivers in Delhi and the Delhi government has failed to broker a resolution.
Mediated by the state government, the meeting between representatives of Rajdhani Tourist Driver Union and the managements of Ola and Uber saw no headway being made. However, the state has asked the companies to look into driver demands for reasonable compensation and other welfare measures.
The government has also promised action on complaints by the drivers' union that a few external anti-social elements have been illegally preventing drivers from plying their vehicles. CNBC-TV18 takes stock of what's prompted these drivers to hit the brakes, and their key demands.
In the last 4 years Ola and Uber cars had become regular feature on Delhi-NCR roads. Suddenly, it seemed a single stroke of innovation had addressed one of the biggest problems of public transportation and it was a win-win solution for both commuters and drivers. However, in the last 5 days nearly 2.5 lakh cars have gone offline as the drivers now say that incentives and salaries have sharply corrected. Many are wondering whether the business model of Ola and Uber is reaching its limit.
These drivers who have gathered at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi make up some of the 75 percent of all Uber and Ola drivers who have decided to go off-line since the February 10. They're protesting the gradual withdrawal of incentives by these cab aggregators, and a major cut in take-home salaries.
The frustration levels are rising because the drivers allege that the promises made to them have remain unfulfilled.
Here's what has changed for these drivers.
Till January, an Uber driver who picked up fares worth 1,700 rupees a day got incentives of around Rs 3,500-4,000 for that day. This meant the driver took home around Rs 5,700 for that day's work. But at the end of January, this incentive was dropped to Rs 2,600 per day, before being done away with altogether meaning drivers take home only the basic fare.
This has been particularly hard on drivers who have leased their vehicles from Ola and Uber.
Given the elimination of incentives, these drivers want the minimum fare to be doubled to 14 rupees a kilometer on smaller cars and 16 rupees per kilometer on bigger sedans. But Ola and Uber may not be eager to play ball, because these higher tariffs could deter daily commuters from using the service. Something they cannot afford since their investors have now started putting more store by profitability than business growth.