Commuters in Trichy have been facing a tough time while traveling by app-based autorickshaws. The drivers refuse to follow the fares fixed by the government and are charging exorbitant rates.
Citing fuel prices, they are demanding more money than what is generated through the mobile application. If one passenger tries to book another auto, other drivers refuse to pick up passengers in solidarity with their fellow driver’s demands for higher fares.
Following the pandemic, travelers depended on app-based autorickshaws to avoid crowds and pollution.
However, the drivers of these app-based vehicles are now fleecing customers by not following government fares and overcharging passengers. This is a result of the increase in fuel prices which has led to the demand for higher wages from drivers.
“Ola auto drivers demand Rs 30 to Rs 40 over the actual fare generated. If we refuse, the drivers get rude and insist us to cancel the booking,” K P Rangaprasad, joint secretary, Sattapanchayat Iyakkam, said.
The commuters have no other choice but to shell out the demanded amount, as there is no one to regulate these app-based autorickshaws. The Regional Transport Office (RTO) has been turning a blind eye to the situation and not taking any action against the drivers.
This is leaving the passengers stranded, who are already battling high prices of essential commodities due to the currency crunch.
If the traveler is unable to book an auto, they have no option but to spend more on a rickshaw or private cabs which are even costlier than app-based autorickshaws, and leave them stranded for hours.
This abusing of technology and regulatory negligence by the drivers must be stopped, and the RTO should take necessary action to ensure that the commuters are not fleeced.
Commuters have been suffering enough and do not deserve to be overcharged by app-based autorickshaw drivers.