This Wednesday, Mumbai faced a major Auto Rickshaw strike, with almost 98000 Rickshaws went off the roads. The protest was against the app based cab aggregators such as Ola and Uber. Union leader Shashank Rao decided to call the strike after his talks with transport minister Diwakar Raote failed.
Here’s what Shashank Rao had to say “We are not against the competition, but there should be a level playing field. Auto rickshaws and kaali-peeli taxis have to follow stipulated rules and regulations. There are no such norms for taxi aggregators such as Ola and Uber. So our first demand is that the government should frame such norms on a priority basis and until then taxi aggregators be barred from operating on Mumbai roads”.
Rao added, saying “Today, we face competition from call-centre vehicles, mini-buses and private aggregators like Uber and Ola, who are eating into our revenue. This is the foremost challenge for every auto rickshaw or taxi driver in the city,”
Some Black and Yellow taxis (Kaali-Peelis) were also not playing even, though the union did not include them. Some private company cabs stayed off the road in the fear of violence. BrihanMumbai Electricity supply and BEST deployed additional buses to comfort the commuters, but that resulted in long standing lines at bus stops.
Train travelling Mumbaikars were affected badly due to the strike, while for some it was a treat to drive on traffic free roads. Many people took to twitter and expressed their views. Majority of them were against the auto drivers. Here’s how Mumbai’s Twitterati reacted to this auto strike –
The strike doesn't matter. These guys have been on a manners & politeness strike since forever. #AutoStrike
— Drapetomaniac (@supriyas99) August 31, 2016
— Ankita Kulkarni (@ankitak13) August 31, 2016
The improvement in the traffic was noticeable.
— Varun Doshi (@Varunrd) August 31, 2016
— Gia kashyap (@Giasaysthat) August 31, 2016
Thnks auto n taxi unins fr mkn Mumbai trafic n noise free.it lukd awsome without thm.luv2 c Mumbai like this forever.Pls b on strike forever
— Kapil Dev Chauhan (@777kapildev) August 31, 2016
While some shared their first hand experience.
#AutoStrike : Yesterday, decided to take auto instead of Ola. 5 of them refused. Never again!! These guys deserve to go out of business.
— Anuj Singhal (@_anujsinghal) August 31, 2016
Top Comedian Sorabh Pant made a hilarious video on the whole situation.
— Sorabh Pant (@hankypanty) August 31, 2016
Auto Rickshaws are still a backbone of public transport in the Mumbai suburban areas, but Mumbaikars are fed up of their rude behavior and their ignoring of passengers at majority places.
This strike projects the concerns of lakhs of auto rickshaw drivers, but customer satisfaction is the first thing they should improve. On the other hand Ola and Uber are doing quite well by providing quality service to the commuters.
In this fast paced world competition can’t be ignored, the only way to excel is to improve.