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View Poll Results: Are Uber/Ola Drivers becoming a menace on the roads?
Yes, they need to be contained. 53 61.63%
Nope, they are decent and well behaved behind the wheel. 33 38.37%
Voters: 86. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 28th January 2017, 13:04   #31
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Default Re: Uber/Ola Drivers: The New-Age Autowallahs?

Have to agree with Noopster here - that the question could have been framed better. Used autos from early childhood (when autos first came to Chembur) till about 15 years ago when I moved to South Mumbai. While some auto drivers were disasters, I must say that the vast majority were decent, reasonably safe (as Indian Drivers go) and did not refuse fares too often either.

I use Uber in Mumbai very often - and at least 80-90% of my rides have earned a 5 star rating. Most 4 stars I give are for the absence of a rear seat belt (which is a mild offence by Indian standards). Yes, on occasion, you find someone with dirty interiors, a car without a proper AC (esp Tata Indigos) or who is rude. Yes, most of them are clueless about where even landmark buildings are located (had someone who had no clue about where Nariman Point was). But that's not a big deal.

My nuanced answer would be the vast majority of Uber drivers are polite et al. Don't have enough experience with Ola to comment.
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Old 28th January 2017, 23:07   #32
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Default Re: Uber/Ola Drivers: The New-Age Autowallahs?

I voted Yes, although it isnt my exact choice of words. I use autos for my daily travel to and from work nowadays, because I dont get parking on my office premises or in a reasonable radius around it and also now my parking area at the halfway point has also become a no-parking zone. As with all vehicles on the road, there are good and bad drivers as well as neat or shabby autos so lets forget about those issues and other ones like the business model, rashness of driving (its no better or worse than most other drivers), etc.

I simply like to state a few points on how Uber and Ola have negatively impacted my experience as a road user in my private vehicle as well as in public transport :

1] They have increased the traffic : This is my biggest issue. The number of cars on the road have gone up by a LOT in the last couple of years and I think its fair to say that most of the new cars on the road are the Uber/Ola guys. While I do not have hard numbers to back it up, if you look around you on the road its fair to say around 2 of the 10 cars around you will be yellow plates. So can we roughly conclude that they have added 15-20% to the traffic density ? Thats quite a fair bit.

And all their nonsense that they will reduce traffic because more private owners will use their cabs instead of taking their car. That figure is probably in the the single digits %age wise and what most people fail to note is that private cars stay in place once they reach their destination, so their contribution to traffic is temporary whereas cab guys are always on the move so they are ALWAYS contributing to traffic. So they have added to the continuous traffic that we had previously with only autos, taxis and buses.

2] Occupying more parking space/narrowing roads : As with regular autos and taxis these guys mostly dont have their own private parking spot so when not in use they are parked on the roads when not running. Obviously this leads to narrowing of roads and also fewer parking spots for me when Im trying to park my own private car.

3] Hunting mode : Many a time, unless the pickup point is a well know or noticeable landmark, these guys slow down in the left lane and go into 'hunting mode' where they are driving slowly trying to find the exact place and their client. A waste of time as they slow down the cars behind them.

4] Stopping in random spots : This generally follows point no 3]. They stop in front of gates, middle of a narrow lane, etc to pick up the passenger and take a bit of time to get moving due to starting the trip and so on. Its a slower process than a metered taxi and its a waste of my time and fuel sitting in the car behind or unable to get out of my gate because the cab guy and the passenger are fiddling with entering destinations/OTP, whatever.

5] Phone usage : While I did say I wasnt going to talk about general driving problems, this is kind of a bit part of the whole Uber/Ola package. Most of these guys use the phone while driving. They might not while you are in the car but you can be sure they will be on the phone on while driving and talking to the next customer. Have seen this several times, sometimes with the cab being driven badly and sometimes decently, but still irrelevant since its illegal, unsafe and much more likely to happen since it is their modus operandi.

I guess thats all for now on how these App cabs have affected my road usage in a negative way. Unfortunately they have had ZERO Positive effects on my life since I do not use their services and dont really see the benefit of them that I cannot get from my private car or a regular auto/taxi.
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Old 29th January 2017, 00:42   #33
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Default Re: Uber/Ola Drivers: The New-Age Autowallahs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by n.devdath View Post
Most of us who live and drive at cities which have the Uber/Ola network have without doubt realised and experienced the advantages of these companies and their transportation services.

However, there is also a rising menace in the form of most of these drivers which has, at least, partially made me group them with the notorious auto wallahs of yore:
Don't you think that you have generalized to a great extent. It's more of an exception than the norm. To give you a fair picture, let me clear most of your points. I have a first hand experience because at present I've my cabs attached with Uber. Can't comment on how Ola functions but Uber is considered stricter as compared to Ola and that's the reason why many drivers/partners refrain from Uber.

Quote:
1. Driving rashly to maximise their rides.
Uber is very strict when it comes to driving behavior. We as partners (that's what Uber prefers to call the owner of the car) get daily reports on the driving habits of our drivers. Uber too monitors them very minutely and if they go below the Uber threshold, monetary fine is imposed on them. Also we get each and every report of theirs right from the way they accelerate to the way they brake, their acceptance rate, the number of cancellations they make, to their online-offline timings to every single thing. Attaching the driving report of two of my drivers for your reference.

Uber/Ola Drivers: The New-Age Autowallahs?-screenshot_20170128222635956_com.ubercab.driver.png


Uber/Ola Drivers: The New-Age Autowallahs?-screenshot_20170128222731747_com.ubercab.driver.png

Quote:
2. Ensure good ratings by picking up passengers right from their pick up points even if it means blocking a narrow road.
No driver is willing to drive down a narrow road. Chances are he may nick another car or bike, also it's a great pain reversing on such narrow lanes. Only if the customer demands, they are compelled to do so.

Quote:
3. Driving slower than other traffic to make more money per minute spent by the passenger/maximise FE (which doesn't happen anyway).
First of all his time is more precious than the per minute fare that he earns while driving slowly. Here in Surat, 1/- is charged for every minute of the ride apart from the base fare and the per km fare. Suppose he wastes one hour everyday due to slow driving, he will earn only 60/- for that one hour, but if he drives a new customer in that one hour, he earns 250/- to 300/- plus no extra expense on fuel is incurred 'cause his car was running in that one hour anyway. They drive sedately only because Uber is very particular about it.
Quote:
4. Parking carelessly blocking traffic while sitting in the cab.
They don't have dedicated taxi-stands. In fact in most of the cities they can't even pick-up a customer from near a taxi-stand leave alone park their cars near them. Agreed, that some of them may park carelessly but most of the times they prefer to park on the sides of a wide road or some secluded place so that they can get their fair share of rest while waiting for their next ride. An average driver drives 150-200 kms daily in this maddening city traffic.
Quote:
5.Reversing on a flyover/clover leaf because the map in their app guided them wrongly.
Maybe some of the newbies, though I don't support it under any circumstances.
Quote:
6.Displaying hooliganism on the roads due to their "gangs" being formed now.
Do you have any idea what if any of the customer reports about his rude or arrogant behavior, leave alone hooliganism? If any matter is reported against them, they immediately get a call from the driver support team and are reprimanded for their behavior. If the driver is at major fault, Uber may even suspend his account temporarily or if the matter is too grave, he may face permanent suspension of his account and for him that means a LOT. He can NEVER drive an Uber in any city of India.

Quote:
While the easiest counter to the above situation is "What can Uber/Ola do to control their drivers", I strongly feel that as new-age, hi-tech, transportation solution providers, they ought to come up with a feedback solution where other road users can also provide feedback about the cab driver's behaviour/driving rather than simply focussing on passenger/rider feedback alone.
Uber is doing much more than most of us are aware. Each and every action of the driver is tracked and even the drivers are aware about this fact. If any of the driver talks on the phone or plays music loudly, just a normal reminder by the customer is enough for them most of the times and if they don't obey the first time, a strict warning will definitely get the desired results.


Quote:
Originally Posted by aravind.anand View Post
Oops ! As of now, I am the only idiot who has voted in favour of Ola & Uber

I am not saying they are gentlemen who drive like Europeans and are polite like the people of England. But since most of them have to own the car, they are a little more responsible while behind the wheel.

You should see the atrocious way, in which the huge Xylos, the Force Travellers and the Indica are ferrying the IT employees ! Those drivers do not own the car, are not bothered about the mileage (as someone else fuels for them) and generally manage to irritate me in a jiffy

So, in comparison, I find the Ola and Uber drivers to be better - but of course, like with every other rule, my statements above would have exceptions too.
+1

Quote:
Originally Posted by deathwalkr View Post
Too much generalization? Bad drivers exist period. Could be autos, trucks, buses, cabs, mercs and jags and what not.

Perhaps the number of uber/ola in kerala is not that high but still think it would be unfair to paint them all with the same brush and colour.


Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Absolutely agreed. This is too much of a generalisation & similar to other myths (all BEST bus drivers are rogues, all black Scorpios are driven rashly, all Duke 390s are illegally racing....).

I will say that Uber & Ola drivers are as good or as bad as any Indian driver on the road. Further, as Aravind posted:



They definitely care about the car. Of the last 20 or so rides I've taken, I remember only 1 driving badly.

Last edited by auto_enthusiast : 29th January 2017 at 00:59.
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Old 29th January 2017, 14:10   #34
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Default Re: Uber/Ola Drivers: The New-Age Autowallahs?

I recently managed to send my parents to the Bangalore city railway station for Rs.197 from my place (~17 KM) via uber. It was after getting a discount of Rs.50 on the standard fare. Even considering the original fare, there is no other means of transport that is as value for money as this. Through my app, I can track where they are all the time. I felt that this was the safest means of transport for them. I believe many of the issues can be overcome using better driver training. A large part of the issue are newbie drivers that are non native to the city having poor language, map reading skills and driving experience. Poorly maintained car (once), fatigued driver(once) were the problems that I have faced so far. Uber should track driver fatigue and car condition. I think this is something that they can easily do. My wife is an every day uber user. She would rate her satisfaction level at greater than 90%.

Last edited by MinivanDriver : 29th January 2017 at 14:11.
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Old 30th January 2017, 00:20   #35
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Question Re: Uber/Ola Drivers: The New-Age Autowallahs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by auto_enthusiast View Post
They don't have dedicated taxi-stands. In fact in most of the cities they can't even pick-up a customer from near a taxi-stand leave alone park their cars near them. Agreed, that some of them may park carelessly but most of the times they prefer to park on the sides of a wide road or some secluded place so that they can get their fair share of rest while waiting for their next ride. An average driver drives 150-200 kms daily in this maddening city traffic.

Uber is doing much more than most of us are aware. Each and every action of the driver is tracked and even the drivers are aware about this fact. If any of the driver talks on the phone or plays music loudly, just a normal reminder by the customer is enough for them most of the times and if they don't obey the first time, a strict warning will definitely get the desired results.
Well, as a passenger I did not face any issue with Uber drivers and drivers know that passengers have a channel to complain (I have not used Ola so far). But majority of them definitely create problems for other road users. If Uber is doing so much, why do they not mandate requirement of standard display of company name and a phone number to contact in case other road users face difficulty due to a particular cab/driver?

Last edited by airbus : 30th January 2017 at 00:23.
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Old 30th January 2017, 10:28   #36
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Default Re: Uber/Ola Drivers: The New-Age Autowallahs?

Last Sunday, my in-laws had to catch their train back to their hometown in Yeshwantpur. Since I stay in Electronic City, the most sensible option was to book a cab for them so that all of us could save a bit of time during the day. For people not from Bangalore, Electronic City to Yeshwantpur is approx. 30 km from one end of the city to the other.

I was trying to book an Ola for about 10 minutes - but there was a surge. So I waited. Finally booked an Ola Prime because the rates were in fact more or less the same. Please note that before booking this Prime, I had sent out requests couple of times with the destination filled in, but got no response back. This time while booking the Prime, I had not put in the destination. Immediately my request was accepted. I called up the driver who was approx. 5 minutes away. He asked for my destination, and when I said Yeshwantpur Railway station, he said please cancel this booking and book another cab. When I probed him why he was saying so, he said that there was a protest against Ola at that place and so he can't go in there.

This by the way, was an absolute lie that I came to know later. But I had no other option, so I cancelled the cab with the reason "Denied duty". Finally I decided that its better that I drop my in-laws rather than they getting stranded if there really was a strike or protest. Wonder of wonders, there was nothing like that and when I opened my app at Yeshwantpur I could see it swarming with Ola's and Ubers.

To Ola's credit, I got a message saying that the driver has been barred for taking bookings pending enquiry. Not sure if anything was done, but I have faced this kind of situations even earlier. I think it has to do with the incentive schemes where the driver gets a bonus if he can complete X number of rides per day. So a trip of about 2 hours is a "complete waste" for them. This is really pathetic and I shudder to think what would have happened if I was not in a position to drop my in-laws and was completely dependent on Ola and Uber.
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Old 30th January 2017, 11:06   #37
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Default Re: Uber/Ola Drivers: The New-Age Autowallahs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by airbus View Post
Well, as a passenger I did not face any issue with Uber drivers and drivers know that passengers have a channel to complain (I have not used Ola so far). But majority of them definitely create problems for other road users. If Uber is doing so much, why do they not mandate requirement of standard display of company name and a phone number to contact in case other road users face difficulty due to a particular cab/driver?
FYI, many cab drivers/partners register themselves with both ola and uber. He may drive for one particular company only but is registered with both the companies. So it's difficult for the company to put up their contact numbers on the cabs. Other road users never know for whom he is driving. If the customer has any issues with service or with the driver, he can raise a complaint from within the app itself. Also, every cab driver drives their other 'private customers' too so it will be difficult for anyone to guess if he's driving for ola or uber or someone else. It is always best that the customer who is in the car complaints to the respective company if there is any issue.

Hope this helps.
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Old 30th January 2017, 11:58   #38
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Default Re: Uber/Ola Drivers: The New-Age Autowallahs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mortis View Post

1] They have increased the traffic : This is my biggest issue. The number of cars on the road have gone up by a LOT in the last couple of years and I think its fair to say that most of the new cars on the road are the Uber/Ola guys.
It's not fair to say that at all, sorry! In the last 3 years, 81.6 lakh new cars (2016 Report Card - Annual Indian Car Sales & Analysis!) have hit our streets. The combined fleet strength of Ola and Uber is not more than 8 lakh or so (here and here). Even assuming 100% of these cabs are new (not a reasonable assumption) that's less than 10% of cars sold. I take your point that new cars are being added, rather than replacing older cabs on the road, but the numbers don't add up.
Quote:
And all their nonsense that they will reduce traffic because more private owners will use their cabs instead of taking their car. That figure is probably in the the single digits %age wise and what most people fail to note is that private cars stay in place once they reach their destination, so their contribution to traffic is temporary whereas cab guys are always on the move so they are ALWAYS contributing to traffic.
Practically all my weekend evening social driving has been replaced by Uber now- no worrying about finding parking and designated drivers. Occasionally I take one to work when I don't feel up to driving. In fact am seriously considering retiring the second car altogether. Commonsense dictates that when you take an Ola/Uber you leave your own vehicle off the roads. So this point doesn't really make sense.
Quote:
2] Occupying more parking space/narrowing roads :
3] Hunting mode:
4] Stopping in random spots :
All fair points. What I can suggest is that as a user, try and ensure that your pick-up/drop spot is not in a place that will cause inconvenience to other drivers. I do this often when getting picked up in a crowded place- walk a little away and call the cab there. To their credit, most Uber drivers will ask for detailed directions so that they get it right the first time. Of course there are exceptions.
Quote:
5] Phone usage :
Technically you are right- it's against the law but I don't see how long we can penalize drivers for using a smartphone (for navigation) or talking using hands-free. It beats the alternative which is driving blind and pullling over every time you receive a call/not take it at all. Just my opinon
Quote:
I guess thats all for now on how these App cabs have affected my road usage in a negative way. Unfortunately they have had ZERO Positive effects on my life since I do not use their services and dont really see the benefit of them that I cannot get from my private car or a regular auto/taxi.
I don't think it's fair to generalise your personal experience. The "use case" for Uber/Ola is very strong and millions of people are benefited as a result. Getting my elderly parents dropped from one place to another in my absence used to be an absolute nightmare earlier- now they just Uber it. It's definitely reduced instances of DUI in my immediate social circle (and I suspect across the board). In cities like Pune, Delhi and Mangalore where extortionate cab/auto drivers ruled the roost, these cabs provide an attractive option.

Ultimately this model (or a more evolved version of it) is the future. There is very little point resisting it.
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Old 31st January 2017, 19:42   #39
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Default Re: Uber/Ola Drivers: The New-Age Autowallahs?

Noopster : Thanks for going through my post and agreeing with some of my points partially.

With respect to the increased traffic density, while I do not have access to hard numbers like you do, my statement was based on general personal observation from my end in Mumbai. It might be different in other other big cities or smaller towns. I agree that a large number of private cars have been added to the roads and the Uber/Ola fleet might constitute only 10% of that, if you take a random sample of say the first 20 cars at a signal, atleast in Mumbai out of those 20, atleast 3-4 will be the yellow plate Uber/Ola cab guys. This is how I came by my possible inaccurate but yet somehow probable figures.

What I meant to say is that these guys have added to the PERMANENT TRAFFIC on the roads, similar to autos, cabs and buses by which I mean they are on the road for most of the day.
While private cars are being added to our roads left right and center, they are mainly point A to point B and are parked and off the road (mostly) the rest of the time, whereas Uber/Ola cabs (like kaali peelis) go from Point A to B to C to D to E to F and so on until they have completed the trips required to get their incentives and so on, hence they are on the roads for longer and for a greater part of the day as compared to private car increasing the Permanent Traffic as I call it.
A new private car could add to greater traffic during peaks hours due to a trip to the office but at other times its parked and off the road but a cab will always be on the road at all hours so this is what I meant by my statement that they have caused traffic to increase.
Also your figures show that the advent of App Taxis havent curbed the sale of private cars as they had promised as a large number of them are still being sold and the percentage of people who have replaced their private cars with App Taxis is pretty small and net-net the increase in the traffic by addition of App Taxis is greater than the number of private cars they have kept off the roads.

Phone usage while driving is Illegal PERIOD. Its in the same category as drunk driving if various scientific studies are to be believed. While other road users are no saints, its practically guaranteed that these guys will use their phones atleast once while driving which is why I brought up the point.

w.r.t. your last point, I stated that my observations and statements were based on how it has affected ME. I have never had an issue getting a cab or auto in Mumbai. If one of them refuses to ply, another one who is willing comes by a minute later. It could be a different case in other cities where autos/taxis are more of a pain, but this is not so in my MY case. Also the App Taxis are going down the same path slowly and steadily if the threads already on this forum are any indication so some time down the line its going to be a moot point. The only place where it might be slightly convenient is that App Taxis would cover the 100m or so into my building compound saving me the horrifying 1 minute walk to the gate and on a really bad day another 200m walk or 2 minute wait in my lane. But then again I will spend around 5 minutes waiting for the cab to come and maybe a call or two to explain the location to him. How convenient. Oh and what about elderly people who cant walk or stand too long ? Back in the 'retro' days we could call the security guard and ask him to flag down an auto or cab and get them to drive into compound and pick up the person from the Lobby ! Unfortunately neither the new age or old school cabs carry you down from the flat itself and place you into their vehicle.

As mentioned in my previous post these are just a bunch of personal observations and opinion as a combined user of public transport and a private car based out of the city of Mumbai and your experience and mileage may vary in other towns and with the way your own life runs its course.

P.S. : The future of road transport is Autonomous cars, possibly solar powered electric, lightweight, one man pods. These may be privately owned or could be a public transport service.

Hopefully my tone doesnt come off as jerkish, Im willing to have a open and civilized discussion on this topic
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Old 10th February 2017, 13:34   #40
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http://gadgets.ndtv.com/apps/news/ub...tegory=gadgets

And now the same thing has spilled into Delhi NCR market with drivers striking against the App based services. People forget their past so easily. It will soon go down the drain with these so called unions dictating pricing and then possibly all other attributes of this service and in the process will end up dragging themselves back to the age old kaali peeli cab status. Those were also spoiled in a way by these unions by gradually starting to dictate terms and at the same time lowering the quality of the service provided. This is the funniest logic I have come across. Don't add more drivers as it's hurting our income. I wish I had the same luxury in my field too. Don't add more doctors and let me make more money. Totally baseless demand. It's a free market and new drivers will stop entering when they figure out that it's no longer lucrative anymore and a balance is attained just like in another business sector.

Last edited by drmohitg : 10th February 2017 at 13:36.
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