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Old 12th September 2020, 20:59   #1
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Default Bengaluru: Commuters now prefer autos over Ola / Uber

Cab-aggregators like Ola and Uber had been the choice of commuters in Bengaluru since they started operations. However, due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, commuters are now preferring autorickshaws which are open on both sides and allow better air circulation compared to taxis.

Bengaluru: Commuters now prefer autos over Ola / Uber-boardingauto3.jpg

According to a media report, people are now preferring autorickshaws due to their open build. Further, for shorter distances, autos work out much cheaper than taxis. App-based aggregators have noticed the trend and have started bringing autos on their platform as well. Uber has started auto rentals which allow a long duration trip with multiple stops. Demand for such services has increased as cities have begun the unlock process.

App-based cabs were in good demand before the outbreak of the pandemic thanks to the convenience of on-demand availability, option of shared mobility and air-conditioned cars at reasonable rates. Most of the autos used to ply without meters and demand 2-way fares for destinations they didn't prefer to go to.

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Last edited by Aditya : 12th September 2020 at 23:00.
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Old 12th September 2020, 21:15   #2
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Default Re: Bengaluru: Commuters now prefer autos over Ola / Uber

If the photo is pre pandemic then it's fine but otherwise if the passengers expect to breathe free air while seated inside an auto by not wearing the mask as shown in the picture then it's of no use eventually, rather more harmful to themselves and the people around.

From my Bangalore travel experience, some business parks like Manyata Embassy Park do not allow Autos to go all the way inside unlike 4 wheeler cabs resulting in less people availing them.
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Old 12th September 2020, 22:21   #3
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Default Re: Bengaluru: Commuters now prefer autos over Ola / Uber

Bajaj Auto and Uber are supplying 1,00,000 Safety partitions to Auto drivers free of cost through their dealerships, driver partner help centers.

This is a great initiative on the part of these companies during this unique situation.
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Old 13th September 2020, 00:52   #4
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Default Re: Bengaluru: Commuters now prefer autos over Ola / Uber

Even before this situation and sudden demand for autos, they were charging senseless.
Also near Whitefield, where I work, no autos (except a very few) used to accept bookings from Uber or Ola, Even if 10-20 autos are shown in the app as available.

Did that change? I wonder, what will be the auto fare now? (Non Uber/Ola)
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Old 13th September 2020, 06:50   #5
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Default Re: Bengaluru: Commuters now prefer autos over Ola / Uber

Not sure I agree with this. In a car-taxi, one can keep all the windows open too for enhanced safety. Plus, if you sit on the left-rear corner, the distance from the driver will be more than in a rickshaw.

Quote:
Originally Posted by haisaikat View Post
If the photo is pre pandemic then it's fine but otherwise if the passengers expect to breathe free air while seated inside an auto by not wearing the mask as shown in the picture then it's of no use eventually, rather more harmful to themselves and the people around.
Yeah, it's just a representative picture.
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Old 13th September 2020, 07:25   #6
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Default Re: Bengaluru: Commuters now prefer autos over Ola / Uber

Autos in cities that don’t believe in meters are certainly not cheaper than cabs - even 2 km distances get a demand of a minimum Rs 50 in Chennai or Bangalore, go above that and the demand increases to 80, 100, 120 etc. Over a slightly longer distance there are times when a cab costs just as much or even a little less.

Mumbai type places where they use the meter would be an exception to the rule of course (do they still do it? The last time I used a Mumbai auto instead of a cab or train they were using that “fictitious rupee” meter and would scrupulously return even 1 rupee change)
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Old 13th September 2020, 08:42   #7
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Default Re: Bengaluru: Commuters now prefer autos over Ola / Uber

What I've noticed is that if you're fluent with local language (kannada in Bangalore) and know the routes/or sound confident the Auto drivers don't rip you off.

Coming back to the topic of discussion here, I would take an Auto over a cab pandemic or no pandemic. Reasons are quite simple, they're safe, cheap and tend to get you out of traffic faster. And if you're lucky the drivers may have a good music system
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Old 13th September 2020, 09:48   #8
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Default Re: Bengaluru: Commuters now prefer autos over Ola / Uber

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sreesh1009 View Post
What I've noticed is that if you're fluent with local language (kannada in Bangalore) and know the routes/or sound confident the Auto drivers don't rip you off.

Coming back to the topic of discussion here, I would take an Auto over a cab pandemic or no pandemic. Reasons are quite simple, they're safe, cheap and tend to get you out of traffic faster. And if you're lucky the drivers may have a good music system
I agree about the *rip off* part and the *get you out of traffic faster* part, but not so much about the fares.

Also, from a traffic safety aspect (in case of accident), I very greatly prefer a cab over a Rick.
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Old 13th September 2020, 11:20   #9
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Default Re: Bengaluru: Commuters now prefer autos over Ola / Uber

As GTO says, cars with the windows down can be safe too. One thing for sure is that the infection rate is going to go up once people start traveling - whatever the means of transport. Can (auto) drivers be given some sort of insurance/medical assistance while they ferry people during this pandemic?

Also, complete nonsense that autos in Bangalore are cheaper. I know for sure that most 5km journeys are illogically priced. After all, it was the Bangalore Auto drivers who conceptualized wonendalf (1.5x regular fare) which is the butt of all jokes in social media.

*I know 1.5x fare is legal from 10pm - 6am, but Bangalore auto drivers really don't have a sense of time :P
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Old 13th September 2020, 11:34   #10
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Default Re: Bengaluru: Commuters now prefer autos over Ola / Uber

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sreesh1009 View Post
What I've noticed is that if you're fluent with local language (kannada in Bangalore) and know the routes/or sound confident the Auto drivers don't rip you off.
I am Tamilian and also speak Kannada, Telugu and Hindi. Auto people still try creative ways of taking long routes and quote ripoff fares. If you bargain with them you'll probably wind up paying less, but I'd rather just take an Uber instead of arguing with them about 20-30 rupees.
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Old 13th September 2020, 12:26   #11
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Default Re: Bengaluru: Commuters now prefer autos over Ola / Uber

I call BS. There may a perception of autos being safer than Uber/Ola, but I don't think it's leading to any drop in market share of Ola/Uber or rise in 'popularity' of autos, at least in Bangalore. No daily commuter would want to deal with the bullying of Bangalore autowallahs , especially at a time when Uber/Ola are so easily available without peak pricing.

I personally also don't agree with the assessment of open autos being safer than cabs. Autowallahs wait for passengers at densely occupied parking spots, often near bus stops or traffic signals, facing non-distant interactions with multiple people and inadvertent touches of passer-byes. Uber/Ola touchpoints are very limited and the cab drivers are themseleves scared of contracting the virus and are taking precautions.
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Old 13th September 2020, 13:33   #12
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Default Re: Bengaluru: Commuters now prefer autos over Ola / Uber

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Not sure I agree with this. In a car-taxi, one can keep all the windows open too for enhanced safety. Plus, if you sit on the left-rear corner, the distance from the driver will be more than in a rickshaw.

Uber has also fitted lots or cars in Metro cities (majorly Delhi & Mumbai) with safety cockpit for drivers. This cordon off the driver area from the rest of the cabin.
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Bengaluru: Commuters now prefer autos over Ola / Uber-img20200913wa0020.jpg  

Bengaluru: Commuters now prefer autos over Ola / Uber-img20200913wa0019.jpg  

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Old 13th September 2020, 14:35   #13
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Default Re: Bengaluru: Commuters now prefer autos over Ola / Uber

Rather than what is actually right or wrong, it is these WhatsApp circulations and people's perception are the guiding factors behind whether people travel via cabs or autos.

One of the reasons (pre-pandemic) people started travelling via Uber/Ola instead of local autos was the fact that these Autorickshaws were charging exorbitantly and unfairly, charging according to what they could fleece the maximum out of a passenger. This is not limited to Bangalore but is prevalent all major cities.

However, with Ola/Uber getting more Autorickshaws on their platforms, the question of transparency has been answered. An auto is always cheaper if booked through the app vis-a-vis a cab booked through the same platform. Another factor which was in favour of the ride-handling app-based cabs was the fact that they would come to your doorstep and would not refuse a fair based on location. This has been answered as well with Ola/Uber bringing autos on the platform.

The shift from cabs to autos (booked via apps) post-pandemic is because with installation of the safety net in-between, the open air surrounding "feels" safer whether it actually is compared to a cab with open windows remains a question mark.

Slightly OT, but there has been a similar shift in restaurants as well. People have been choosing open-air and roof-top restaurants for dine-in as they feel safer than traditional air-conditioned, enclosed dine-in restaurants.
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Old 13th September 2020, 15:53   #14
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Default Re: Bengaluru: Commuters now prefer autos over Ola / Uber

I believe that one of the USP of Ola/Uber is AC cab (ease of booking being the bigger and obvious one). With these protective partions in place, majority or all of the vents are closed to the passenger. Prices of equivalent auto rides would likely be lower, I assume. So for equal(ish) level of ventilation, people would seem to gravitate to Autos
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Old 13th September 2020, 17:46   #15
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Default Re: Bengaluru: Commuters now prefer autos over Ola / Uber

Ground situation from Bangalore - Ola and I think even Uber have always had Autos onboard their Apps.

I always prefer an Ola auto for short distances such as reaching a nearby metro station. Regarding ventilation, probably Auto's do have a slight advantage because its almost all window and no doors on a serious note, its possible to sit inside an auto without gripping onto anything(might need a slight bit of extra effort), although as GTO sir mentioned, the actual distance between the driver and passenger may be lesser than a car.

Another important point to note though which could be a disadvantage with cabs and autos - distance from driver is one thing, another thing is the contact with various surfaces which other passengers might have contacted. Im not sure if they sanitize all possible contact areas each time a passenger alights from the vehicle. This is where private vehicles offer peace of mind.

Last edited by Arjun Bharadwaj : 13th September 2020 at 17:49. Reason: added a point of disadvantage
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