Bengaluru taxi drivers are floating Telegram groups to coordinate their own rides: report | bangalore

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Taxi drivers in Bengaluru have started running their own businesses with the help of Telegram groups where they coordinate reservations and rides directly with customers, amid dissatisfaction with working conditions provided by aggregators and apps carpooling is growing.

Drivers are forced to bargain with high fuel costs, high commissions paid to the aggregator per ride – which could be as high as 30% – low incentives, impending EMI refunds on their vehicles, harsh working conditions with targets impossible and unbeatable traffic jam.

READ | Karnataka bans Ola and Uber from providing car services

So they are looking for alternatives, especially after customers protested unreasonably high fares that prompted the Karnataka Department of Transport to crack down on aggregators like Ola, Uber and Rapido, among others to stop rickshaw service. automatic in the city.

There are more than 10 active telegram groups which have up to a thousand taxi drivers and several customers in Bengaluru where they interact for pick up and drop off services and offer a fare for the same, India time reported.

The publication quotes Tanveer Pasha, the president of the Ola Uber Drivers and Owners Association, as saying that customers are happy because they get insured taxis compared to app-based aggregators, which have unpredictable wait times. . “Under this system, drivers and customers agree on the fare before the trip so that there are no problems later and there are no price hikes,” he added.

READ | Automobile unions in Bengaluru to launch Namma Yatri mobile app to challenge aggregators

Some groups on Telegram used for this purpose are: “Friends Cab Service”, which has more than 25,000 members, and “A1 cab”, which has almost 18,000 members.

Auto unions are also looking to launch their own mobile apps, such as ‘Namma Yatri’ and ‘Rook’, which are expected to go live in November.

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