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Uber-Ola’s AC cab conundrum

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Pranav Balakrishnan

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Pranav Balakrishnan

47 reads

Amid the ongoing heatwave across the country, the issue of cab drivers' refusing to use ACs has come to the fore once more. With new entrant Namma Yatri dividing its cab service into AC and non-AC cabs, is it time for Uber and Ola to follow suit?

May 24, 2024

6 MINS READ

Recently, a video of a person arguing with his cab driver over the AC not being switched on went viral on Indian social media. The customer argued that had he known the driver would refuse to use the AC, he would not have booked the cab in the first place. 

The incident, which occurred in Bengaluru, Karnataka, is not a new phenomenon. Nor is it unique to any particular region in the country. As one ride-hailing executive said, it isn’t a Bengaluru-specific problem, it’s just that incidents in the city are amplified.

Over the years, many users have complained about the same problem, with complaints tending to spike around summer. Cab drivers, though, seem unwilling to make any concessions—heat wave or not. Last month, the Telangana gig and platform workers union even announced a “No AC” campaign. “We, drivers working with Uber, Ola, and Rapido apps are unable to turn on the AC due to declining per kilometre fares,” the union said in a statement. 

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