Some passengers sceptical as Bengaluru auto drivers union … – The Indian Express

While the standoff between autorickshaw drivers and cab aggregators in Bengaluru is far from over, the auto drivers union’s very own Namma Yatri app has created a flutter among commuters.
The app was launched on November 1, on the occasion of Kannada Rajyotsava, and has recorded over 50,000 downloads so far. The app, currently in the beta stage, has two versions—one for drivers and the other for passengers.
Some passengers still feel the app lacks “credibility” and many netizens have flagged technical problems like location inaccuracy as well as pricing issues that need to be addressed.
According to Rudramurthy, general secretary of Auto Rickshaw Driver’s Union, Bengaluru, the app also offers metro-to-home services, only with a limited radius of 2km, with a flat fare of Rs 40. The app charges Rs 30 for the first 2km and Rs 15 for subsequent kilometres, as per the government rules, as well as a pickup fee of Rs 10.
The app has been designed under the Open Network for Digital Commerce model developed by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade of the central government. The solution for the app was provided by Beckn Foundation, which is supported by the non-profit Foundation for Interoperability in Digital Economy, co-founded by Nanand Nilekani. The autorickshaw drivers are now in a three-month agreement with Juspay Technologies, engaged by the union to develop the app as per its customisation requirements.
Yogesh, a driver registered with the app, said, “The app still needs improvement in location accuracy. This has been a problem for the past few days and we have raised it with the union. However, overall the app is definitely a boon for auto drivers, who until now were exploited by ride-hailing apps. Here we also have an option to negotiate the price depending on the location. I am very optimistic about the app and its services in the long run. We ask for an extra Rs 10 or Rs 20 to cover the fuel charges.”
Rudramurthy said, “The intention of the app is to provide livelihood for auto drivers and passenger safety with fair pricing and without any middlemen. The earnings will directly go to the driver himself and he has the option to negotiate for more. We are spreading awareness among the auto drivers to switch to the app for better earnings. Moreover, we do not welcome the move to allow the government to launch an auto aggregator app because the government does not have the technical expertise and infrastructure to maintain it, problems that would later render the service useless.”
Autorickshaw drivers say a lot of bookings are coming from areas like Koramangala, Mathikere, Indiranagar, Jayanagar and places where colleges are situated.
Varadaraju, another driver, said, “We are receiving 4-5 bookings a day through the app, but we still need more numbers. However, passengers have told me that they are saving at least Rs 30-Rs40 on a trip compared to Ola/Uber. The commission on such ride-hailing services is high and the Namma Yatri app charges no such commission. All the earnings goes to the driver, which is very helpful. I am happy that we are seeing some hope for reviving the auto business now.”
Anoushka Roy, a working professional, said, “I still doubt the credibility of such apps because they still do not have the mechanism to address passenger issues. Also I do not see many friends in my circle using the app. I would still prefer an Ola or a Rapido to book my rides. It will take some time for me to trust the Namma Yatri app.”
Anunaya Hebbar, a Twitter user, said, “Because of Namma Yatri App in Bengaluru auto drivers are not accepting Ola, Uber and Rapido. We have to either pay a hefty amount and go in a cab or choose a bike.”
Meanwhile, Uber has also decided to limit its services after the commission was capped at 10 per cent following the ban on autorickshaw services operated by ride-hailing apps. In a recent blog post, the company wrote that “currently, our commission in Bengaluru is capped at 10 per cent of the fare collected. This is not financially sustainable. If our costs cannot be covered through commissions, we will have to find ways to offload costs that could impact the experience of drivers and riders. In the face of these commission caps, we may have to make the difficult decision to limit Uber Auto to select parts of Bengaluru where the service is viable”.
The move came after the Karnataka High Court placed a 10 per cent cap on commissions, exclusive of Goods and Services Tax, on October 14 as an interim arrangement until the state’s transport department and app-based ride-hailing firms come up with a pricing mechanism.
3 months before Tripura polls, Jamatia becomes 3rd IPFT MLA to quit party


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *