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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 27th January 2017, 00:32   #1
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Angry Uber/Ola Drivers: The New-Age Autowallahs?

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:

1. Driving rashly to maximise their rides.
2. Ensure good ratings by picking up passengers right from their pick up points even if it means blocking a narrow road.
3. Driving slower than other traffic to make more money per minute spent by the passenger/maximise FE (which doesn't happen anyway).
4. Parking carelessly blocking traffic while sitting in the cab.
5.Reversing on a flyover/clover leaf because the map in their app guided them wrongly.
6.Displaying hooliganism on the roads due to their "gangs" being formed now.

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.
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Old 27th January 2017, 00:44   #2
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Default

This sure is a menace. I've had people cutting lanes like they are bunny hoping to maybe reach a place faster, drivers at slow speeds on an empty road hogging the first and second lane, blind dudes with their high beams perpetually switched on. I appreciate the service they provide but there should be some evaluations before the drivers are given the ability to serve as an Ola/Uber

These are just personal experiences I've faced. Don't mean to hurt anyone, there have been Uber/Ola drivers that have been awesome, following signals, lane changes, speed limits etc. But the few who are morons tarnish the image of all the drivers out there and more importantly the brand.
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Old 27th January 2017, 00:48   #3
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Default re: Uber/Ola Drivers: The New-Age Autowallahs?

I agree to point no.3 and point no.4. But again point no.4 is many a time fault of the customer as they will ask the driver to randomly stop and try to get down.

As for drivers driving slowly I agree to that and that's all due to the Ride Time charge applied by Uber/Ola.
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Old 27th January 2017, 01:34   #4
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Default re: Uber/Ola Drivers: The New-Age Autowallahs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KaandBaaz View Post
I agree to point no.3 and point no.4. But again point no.4 is many a time fault of the customer as they will ask the driver to randomly stop and try to get down.
To give you an analogy, when you are examined for a driving test in most Gulf countries, the instructor who sits beside you to examine your driving will tell you to suddenly stop, take a U turn etc. If you listen to him/her and comply, you are disqualified.

Vehicle and road safety is the driver's primary responsibility and that needs to be inculcated here.
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Old 27th January 2017, 04:20   #5
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Default re: Uber/Ola Drivers: The New-Age Autowallahs?

Some of what devdath has written is true - Ive also observed this.
But from an user perspective, I ve mostly found the Uber chaps to be pretty professional and good.
Of course Uber in India will never be the same as Uber abroad, simply because, like it or not, we are a nation of poor hungry people and the financial pressures on these drivers make them do strange things.
OLA, I don't use, because I am used to and generally prefer Uber. Dirty cars and oddball drivers on OLA. (Even Uber Economy / Uber Go both have many dirty cars and smelly drivers.)
The fact is that the concept overall is great and works very well too, but here in India our Financial circumstances and sheer pressure of traffic cause even greater pressures and worries for these drivers to make ends meet.
Hence, overall, Im in agreement that the Ola and Uber brethren are quickly in danger of becoming just like their cousins, the Auto drivers!
Yes, it would be a great initiative to have a way of sharing "road user" feedback on the app and mention the car number on it and the time, so that proper corrective action can be taken!
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Old 27th January 2017, 07:44   #6
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Default re: Uber/Ola Drivers: The New-Age Autowallahs?

6:0 in favor of "they need to be contained."
I've observed all these behaviors drivers in Bangalore and Chennai.

As shankar.balan pointed out, Uber certainly has better behaved drivers who actually are decent.

7 of 10 (purely my observation) ola drivers in Chennai are from other towns in TN and they don't know prime locations and can't even follow a map properly. Ola drivers in Bangalore are far better.

Also, many Ola drivers refuse long rides or rides with electronic payment. This is extremely irritating.
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Old 27th January 2017, 08:21   #7
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Default re: Uber/Ola Drivers: The New-Age Autowallahs?

This topic couldn't have come at a better time, absolutely Uber/Ola are the new-age menace, taking over the tradition of the autowallas, and some probably taken over by autowallas themselves.

Its impossible to debate here without getting a tearful, passionate defense of anyone/anything, specially those who are seen to be the less-than-average class, moving up the shackles of life and boy does this nation love those types. So I'll write my own defense, and give reasons why these crawling pestilence in the name of mass transit has gone wrong in this age :

- Ageist = Many will hop on to this and claim age is just a number, age is no factor, older doesn't mean wiser blah blah, in my own experience the older they were the better drivers they were, more patient, polite, considerate to other motorists etc. Once I was praising a driver for his driving which was smooth and slow and was so comfortable I was falling asleep, he immediately accepted the praise with joy and said "I've been driving 25 years, what do these guys (younger lot) know about driving, they can't even sprout a moustache yet" and I began to laugh. This is why my UBER experiences were very, very satisfactory to start off with a year ago and now its unbearable.

- Just for the money = Many drivers (over 80%) do it just for that transaction that awaits the end of the journey, nothing inbetween matters so they blast music inside the car, keep it unclean, talk loudly over phone during the whole trip (I've endured nearly 45 minutes of this harassment) and also do not obey simple passenger requests like lowering volume, and these were all UberX mind you.

- Ratings = One way to stop this mess is to choose only cars that are 4.7+ in rankings, I know how to work the system and I reject up to 3-4 times if I see anything lower than that and Uber automatically selects a good car to send. Any cab below 4.7 will be an absolute nightmare to ride on and yes, my experience in that regard does count.

- Life = as with anything else in life, be it autos, cabs, or mere individuals, 99% won't be good while the 1% remaining stand out as a shining light from within that darkness, so I guess this was kind of expected.

I've stopped taking Uber effective 3-4 months ago except when truly necessary while going to a congested area once every 2 weeks or so, the only way to stop this serpent from growing is to stop feeding it, one passenger at a time. Now they're even joining mass-bandhs to ensure the meter rate goes up to Rs.20/- per km flat, great, they might as well make it Rs.50/-, they'll all go bust overnight.
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Old 27th January 2017, 08:35   #8
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Default re: Uber/Ola Drivers: The New-Age Autowallahs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by n.devdath View Post
4. Parking carelessly blocking traffic while sitting in the cab.
5.Reversing on a flyover/clover leaf because the map in their app guided them wrongly.
To add to that, there's the idiots who happily driving the wrong way to save 100m of driving because that's how they have driven in their villages since forever!
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Old 27th January 2017, 08:57   #9
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Default re: Uber/Ola Drivers: The New-Age Autowallahs?

Like many others, I think this problem is more to do with Ola drivers. Neither as a rider nor as a commuter, I have found Uber drivers to be driving rash. As a commuter, my reference for uber cabs are the non stickered(OLA) cabs which might contain a few Ola cabs as well without the Ola branding or the green bumper.

Quote:
Originally Posted by n.devdath View Post
1. Driving rashly to maximise their rides.
Most of the rashly driven cabs I have seen are the Indicabs and Tata Sumos. However, the newer cars are driven much more sedately, maybe because of the scare of rear ending and airbags deploying(God bless toyota for making it standard on Etios) or scared of Maruti Dzires tinny build which they will have to spend a lot on repairs. However, if it were an Indica, at most a rear ending would result in some scratches on the bumper or worse a dent on the hood(as if the bumper ever looks in good shape) or a bent crash guard on the Tata Sumo.

What I find more rash are the cars which run as company cabs for pickup and drops. These are the cabs which are owned by some travel agency where the drivers dont give a damn about how much abuse the car gets.

Quote:
2. Ensure good ratings by picking up passengers right from their pick up points even if it means blocking a narrow road.
This is more of lack of road sense. Its prevalent with non cabbies as well, just due to the 'please adjust' mentality. If at all the cab really wants to pick someone from their doorstep, they can wait in a wider road until the rider signals they are ready to hop in, and then they can pick them up, stopping for a brief moment.
Quote:
3. Driving slower than other traffic to make more money per minute spent by the passenger/maximise FE (which doesn't happen anyway).
I dont think this is the case now with Uber, since the rate is fixed before you start the ride. And given their random target setting(trip/revenue based) the drivers cant play this trick anymore. But its more of a FE habit where they occupy the right most lane and lug the car without bothering about traffic behind. This is irrespective of car/service provider.

The rest of the points just point out to poor manners and traffic sense. Unlike auto drivers, I dont see cab drivers teaming up in case of an incident. Most of them are on another duty that they cant give up, and the free ones are probably cooling off after some heavy work in traffic. Unless its some leisure hour with no traffic, dont expect cab drivers to unite. They are as annoyed with driving as the regular commuters are.

In the future, I see these habits will be rather damped down. There are multiple reasons why I feel so. First, the earnings per driver will come down, and the cars will demand expensive repairs. Hence, they will start reducing aggressive driving and become more defensive on the road. Next, if customers start rating drivers poorly, their accounts will be suspended. Getting back online especially with uber demands a trip to the office, some pleading and stuff. Not sure what is the case with Ola. These days, I have heard traffic police milk these cabs for the slightest of mistakes by fining them for what not, hence most of them avoid getting into trouble. Third, unlike auto rickshaws, the cabs are at the mercy of aggregators. They dont have the freedom or the footing auto drivers have.
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Old 27th January 2017, 09:23   #10
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Default re: Uber/Ola Drivers: The New-Age Autowallahs?

Stinky cars and driver with poor personal hygiene bug me to death.
I ve decided to harden my heart and be ruthless in my ratings and feedback from now on.
Ive held off until now out of a perhaps misguided sense of pity for these guys, but no longer!

Hopefully it will help change things for the better in the long term!
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Old 27th January 2017, 09:37   #11
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Default re: Uber/Ola Drivers: The New-Age Autowallahs?

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.
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Old 27th January 2017, 09:54   #12
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Default re: Uber/Ola Drivers: The New-Age Autowallahs?

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.
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Old 27th January 2017, 10:20   #13
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Default re: Uber/Ola Drivers: The New-Age Autowallahs?

This is totally true and some of these drivers particularly Ola ones are worse than even auto drivers. Blame this on Indian mentality of penny wise pound foolish and scant respect of road rules. Recently I travelled in an Ola cab from Silk board to Whitefield. He was ranting non stop from start to end. Like starting point was on other side of flyover, the end point is slightly off from what showed in the map. Also he was in a big hurry breaking every rule on the road. Finally my fuse blew and took him to task. This was the exact same behavior of an auto driver.
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Old 27th January 2017, 10:38   #14
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Default re: Uber/Ola Drivers: The New-Age Autowallahs?

I beg to differ. I was in India the last 2 weeks of last year, and we used Ola & Uber extensively in Pune and Mumbai. The experience was much better than the alternative, i.e. the arrogant rickshaws and taxis that either were not interested in driving to my destination, or wanted me to pay much more than what the meter would come to. An example would be, I paid 500 at a pre-paid booth within pune airport to travel a distance of 10 kms, where-in my next 2 trips were with Uber, and I paid 150 and 220 each to and from the airport, the last trip being in the middle of the night.

The cabs weren't very clean inside, but the drivers were courteous and did not drive rash. I actually had a nice conversation with one of them.
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Old 27th January 2017, 10:42   #15
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Smile re: Uber/Ola Drivers: The New-Age Autowallahs?

Since the time duration of the rides have been charged @ per minute basis I've noticed the cab drivers drive slowly and steadily to maximize the duration for more bucks. In a way that's a blessing in disguise. Even on empty stretches they don't cross 40, annoying sometimes though

PS: I've been using OLA/Uber for the last 2 weeks since I sustained a fracture

Last edited by Karthik Chandra : 27th January 2017 at 10:44.
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