Cabs, autos not easy to come by when it rains

Many auto drivers make a killing when it rains, but they have their share of woes, too.

As rain pours down on Bengaluru, people are scrambling desperately to find autos and cabs. 

As demand spikes, Ola and Uber apps say they are ‘unable to find rides.’ Autos are also hard to come, and when you do find one, the drivers demand high fares. 

Apps allow users to hail autos to their doorstep, but the service becomes scarce the moment it begins to drizzle, users say. 

Harsha Krishnan, graphic designer, feels frustrated and angry. Drivers never accept rides when it rains even if they are standing around idle, he complains.

“I have tried booking autos at locations where they are parked just across the roads. What’s the use of all this ‘at-your-finger’ tag if you can’t avail the service when you need it the most?” he wonders. 

Regular autos refuse to go by the meter, saying a customer ready to pay surge fares to Ola and Uber can pay a little more to them. 

A communication professional ended up paying Rs 600 from Richmond Road to J P Nagar in a normal auto instead of the regular Rs 150. 

“It is my usual route and since it was pouring, autos refused to go by meter. I had no choice but to agree to pay Rs 600. This is insane,” she says.

An Ola Spokesperson says, “In situations such as heavy rainfall, when demand exceeds supply, we strive to optimise resources and work hard to ensure that everyone who needs a reliable and safe mode of commute has one. In addition, we have a wide range of categories that include Ola Auto and eight others that customers can use.

Customers can also opt for Ola Share which ensures that more individuals can get convenient transportation by sharing their ride.”

Uber has introduced auto hailing but it has yet to gain momentum. 

Bency Sebastian, student, uses cabs for her commutes. “I usually get one in less than two minutes, but when it rains, it takes at least 15 to 20 minutes. Sometimes, drivers cancel the ride after making us wait,” she says. 

Some alternatives

When you can’t hail a cab or auto on your app, but carry an umbrella...

Try making a dash to the nearest bus stop.

Take the BMTC Vayu Vajras. Slightly expensive, but you get moving.

Wait at the nearest hang-out. Shop, sip coffee, relax!

Consider share, premium and luxury cab options.

Drivers’ woes

Auto drivers are wary of long trips when it rains. The roads are flooded, and it becomes difficult to spot ditches and potholes. Traffic comes to a standstill at many places, and drivers end up waiting for ever for a small fare. 

Fleeced by auto drivers?

You can call the police on 080-22868444 and 2286 8550. 

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