• Wed. Sep 21st, 2022

For taxi drivers, a trip in the rain is a pain, no gain

ByElla E. Kidwell

Aug 4, 2022

Many say they would rather miss a few hours of pay than spend a month’s salary fixing cars when they break down

Many say they would rather miss a few hours of pay than spend a month’s salary fixing cars when they break down

One of the most common complaints heard in the city when the skies begin to open up is the lack of availability of taxis and cars. Thousands of stranded commuters sometimes wait up to an hour to find a taxi to take them to their destination. Many wonder why this is happening despite skyrocketing fares when it rains, but drivers and owners say they’d rather lose a few hours’ wages than spend their entire month’s income fixing cars in the event of a crash. breakdown.

With flooded roads becoming a common feature of the city during rain, this, combined with potholes, makes it extremely difficult for any vehicle to navigate. These problems cause vehicles to break down in the middle of the road, which renders drivers helpless and impacts their pockets.

“Often, when it rains, you don’t see the potholes. One false move and the car fills with water. If the water reaches the engine, we must stop immediately. We have to call a friend to help us tow the vehicle,” explained Rajesh, who is attached to an aggregator. He added that repairing the engine would cost between ₹60 and ₹85,000 depending on the make and model of the car.

Drivers also mentioned that main roads and busy areas are more flooded and difficult to cross than the outskirts. Marathahalli, Sarjapur, Hebbal, JP Nagar, HSR Layout, Rajarajeshwarinagar, Mahalakshmi Layout and Horamavu rides are their nightmares. They admitted to turning off their apps during heavy rain because it’s safer to do so.

“Just a few hours ago a friend had an accident (due to reduced visibility in the rain) and his vehicle is now damaged near Hebbal. There are special rates for the rains, it’s true, but it’s not worth spending thousands for a few hundred. There is no guarantee that we can get the vehicle home safely. The towing costs depend on the distance and if we have customers inside when the car breaks down then we feel guilty that we cannot drop them home,” lamented Lokesha, another taxi driver .

The fate of rickshaw drivers is similar. Unlike their taxi driver counterparts, these drivers are not even protected from the rain and winds. It is also easier for water to enter their vehicles because there are no doors. They also have to spend at least a few thousand dollars on repairs and maintenance, should they break down.

“We know that we have to provide our services to passengers, but motorists also have families. They have their own financial problems. These are the kind of people who cannot afford to spend more on vehicle repairs. There are kind customers who pay extra ₹10 or ₹20 to value our service, but most find it difficult to pay extra even in extreme weather conditions when car drivers cannot find another customer on the way back and should come back empty. said Sampath, General Secretary, Adarsha Auto Union.

Delivery partners cannot deactivate

Taxi and auto drivers can turn off their apps in the rain, but food delivery partners don’t get their daily pay if their goals aren’t met. Come rain or shine, they have to deliver their orders. While food consolidation companies organize assistance with food deliveries in the event of vehicle breakdown, they do nothing to help delivery partners.

“Driving on city roads on any day is dangerous, not to mention rainy days. Rainfall rates have also been reduced in recent days over Swiggy and Zomato. It is now a more risky and less rewarding situation for delivery partners,” said Vinay Sarathy, president of United Food Delivery Partners’ Union.