The Delhi government on Monday said it will take “strict action” against Ola and Uber after the cab-hailing companies hiked their rates by at least three times during the odd-even rationing scheme.
Commuters said they had to pay “astronomical rates” for cabs because of surge pricing, a business practice in which companies increase rates when demand for cabs goes up.
The surge pricing varied from three times the usual rate to five times during morning rush hour.
“I take Uber everyday from my home in Janakpuri to my office in Connaught Place. The surge was five times the usual rate. I had no option but to pay Rs 8,00,” said Ankita, a media professional who uses just her first name.
Puneet Gulati, who commutes to Sohna Road for work, said that he had to wait 45 minutes for cab fares to go down on Monday morning. “From my home in Vasant Kunj to my office it takes me around Rs 400 but today it (cab service) was charging me around Rs 2100. I waited for 45 minutes prices to go down,” he said.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted that “taxis” could be impounded or have their licences cancelled if they didn’t follow government rules on rates.
On Change.org, a website for activist groups, a petition against surge pricing started two weeks ago went from 1,000 signatures till last evening to 19,500 till Monday noon.
“When there was monopoly of auto-rickshaw drivers and private cab owners, Ola and other such small enterprises were introduced to give people relief and it was a very good initiative. Small cities are eagerly expecting such cab services but question is are they really helping now or they are charging whatever they want!” said Aman Garg in his petition against Ola’s surge pricing to union road transport Minister Ntitin Gadkari and assistant transport commissioner.
Nitish Parnami’s petition against Uber’s surge pricing in Bangalore started two months ago too saw a spike in signatures starting Sunday afternoon.
Karnataka ended surge pricing after complaints from commuters.