HYDERABAD: Long waits, canceled trips, unpopular destinations, online payment and lack of accountability are some of the problems faced by city dwellers who depend on app-based taxi aggregators for transportation.
They said the problems worsen over the weekend due to a surge in demand.
In recent months, daily activities have returned to the normality of pre-Covid times – with offices resuming in-person work, shoppers queuing to hit malls and an increase in social gatherings – which have increased demand of taxis.
“The wait for the taxi after booking is sometimes around half an hour. It’s so irritating to take a taxi. It used to be a nice way to get around, but now it’s become a chore,” said E. Santosh, an IT professional.
Vadiraj, a resident of the city, said: “After booking a taxi, the driver calls and asks if the mode of payment is cash or online. If the answer is online, they cancel most of the time. To cancel the trip, they have plenty of excuses, like vehicle problems, traffic jams, etc.
The Telangana Gig and Platform workers’ union attributed the problems to a drop in the number of taxis since the imposition of the Covid-19 closures.
“Currently, the number of taxis is between 40,000 and 60,000, which is less. Before the nationwide lockdown, there were about 1.25 lakh taxis to meet city requirements. During the lockdown, most of these vehicles were seized and the drivers are not eligible for loans because their CIBIL scores are bad.
Commuters, on the other hand, said that while they are willing to wait, taxi drivers should be more responsible, as they are not guaranteed a reservation despite being willing to pay extra charges. .