• Wed. Sep 21st, 2022

Bangalore: App-Cab Drivers Prepare For Night Shifts, Ditch Daytime Work

ByElla E. Kidwell

Aug 23, 2022

As the clock strikes 6 p.m. every day, Bengaluru taxi driver Mohammad Shaik gets out of his vehicle and finishes his shift the next morning at 6 a.m. He is just one of many taxi drivers in the IT capital who have started to prefer night shifts to day shifts in recent months, sources say.

A resident of Wilson Garden, Shaik drives into the city’s central business district and typically logs into his taxi aggregator app around 7 p.m. It only accepts rides to and from South Bengaluru and the airport. Shaik finishes his work at 6am and sleeps the rest of the day until evening and repeats the same cycle.

Many drivers say that high fuel costs, high commissions paid to taxi companies and traffic problems have stressed them, both financially and mentally. Although the drivers admit that the number of bookings during the night is lower than in the morning, they add that a few airport drops and some trips involving professionals on night shifts in the midst of free-flowing traffic offer more relief. important. Drivers also complain that the delay in road projects and metro station works in many places in Bangalore has disrupted traffic.

According to Tanveer Pasha, Karnataka President of Ola/Uber Drivers Association, many drivers have also started running their own business in the mornings while switching to taxis in the evenings. Speaking to indianexpress.com, Pasha says, “Due to high fuel prices and commissions, drivers are unable to support themselves. Also, the traffic in Bengaluru has taken a toll on them. There is no choice but to find an alternative model. So some taxi drivers are now selling clothes while others are selling vegetables.

Shaik believes rampant traffic is the main reason for switching to night driving. “The usual suspects like Silk Board Junction, Tin Factory, Marathahalli, Outer Ring Road, JC Road have completely stressed me out. I can’t drive in such a traffic jam anymore. Driving at night makes me feel comfortable. However, even during at night, some areas experience creeping traffic as the main roads have been blocked due to the construction of the subway. I have dinner at home in the evening and have tea, snacks while driving all night,” says Shaik .

Ashok Kumar, taxi driver and president of Bengaluru Ola/Uber Taxi Drivers Association, started selling vegetables from this month to supplement his income. While he sells vegetables in the morning, he connects to taxi services in the late evening. “I started selling vegetables because the income from taxi services was not enough to support my family. Also, riding in the morning does not give us good mileage given the traffic in Bangalore. We usually receive pub goers, professionals and flyers as overnight passengers. I also avoid going to certain risky areas where I don’t feel safe. I finish my shift at 6 a.m. or 7 a.m. the next day,” Kumar explains.

Naseer Ahmad, another taxi driver, says: “For six months, I have been driving the taxi from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. It harmed my health and the doctor advised me to rest. But I end up saving more on fuel and earning more during the night compared to the day. I usually stay around Madiwala, Whitefield, Electronic City, Koramangala, Indiranagar because these areas attract more rides. It also makes it easier for me to contact other drivers in an emergency. »