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Taxi drivers turn off air conditioning to save gasoline and diesel

ByElla E. Kidwell

Mar 28, 2022

Following the continued spike in fuel prices, reports indicate that taxi aggregator taxi drivers have turned off the air conditioning in their vehicles to save petrol, diesel or gas.

Drivers and their associations here in Mumbai claim that by turning off the air conditioning they would save 2-3 km per liter of mileage. According to one of the complaints filed on the microblogging site Twitter on March 25, the driver refused to turn on the air conditioning unless the passenger agreed to pay extra for the cool breeze. Going the extra mile, the taxi driver even hung up a flyer, according to the posted photo, which mentions that the air conditioning will be maintained at an additional cost plus an additional fare calculated on the basis of kilometers travelled.

This incident did not take place in Mumbai, but the city’s drivers and their associations say it is entirely possible that it could happen here as well. As of March 27, petrol prices in Mumbai saw a hike of 53 paise/litre while diesel jumped by 58 paise/litre.

As a result, the cost of petrol jumped to Rs 113.88/litre from Rs 113.35/litre and diesel rose to Rs 98.13/litre from Rs 97.55/litre. Complaining about fuel costs, a member of Maharashtra Rajya Rashtriya Kamgar Sangh and leader of the Aggregator Taxi Drivers Union said, “Aggregator taxi operators are not doing anything to raise the base fare which is still around Rs 6 -7.

There is no doubt that such cases could happen even in Mumbai. Rising fuel prices have also worried drivers about income, which is why they are resorting to turning off air conditioners as a cost-cutting measure. Meanwhile, aggregators say they don’t support such driver behavior. “Uber does not charge an additional fee for turning on the air conditioning during a ride and any driver who charges such a fee will be subject to action by the company for violating our Community Guidelines. Driver refusal, riders have the ability to contact Uber through in-app chat messages and post-ride feedback. Continued non-compliance by drivers may result in them losing access to the Uber app” , said an Uber spokesperson.

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Posted: Monday March 28th 2022, 09:23 IST