In Mumbai, taxis and autos may soon take the cashless route

Updated: Dec 10, 2016, 06:49 IST | Shashank Rao

With a huge drop in business in the month since the demonetisation announcement, Mumbai's taxi and auto rickshaw unions are now approaching e-wallet firms for a tie-up

With a huge drop in business in the month since the demonetisation announcement, unions are now approaching e-wallet firms for a tie-up. File picWith a huge drop in business in the month since the demonetisation announcement, unions are now approaching e-wallet firms for a tie-up. File pic

It’s been a month since the demonetisation announcement, and auto and taxi drivers are still feeling the pinch. Passengers simply do not have the change for the ride. The respective unions have now approached e-wallet companies for a tie-up to allow passengers the cashless payment option. Black and yellow taxis and auto rickshaws have seen a 15-20 per cent drop in business. In fact, the unions claim that in the first fortnight, there was a drop in business of up to 60 per cent, which is why drivers are looking at the e-wallet option.

The drivers, notorious for refusing fares, found themselves on the other side of the fence as people are increasingly choosing taxi aggregators.

In fact, inside a few auto rickshaws, the drivers have already displayed posters of an e-wallet company to give passengers the option of making payment. Sources said there has been a rise of 20 per cent in the cashless mode for travel. Also, the black-and-yellow cabbies have failed to make an entry in the mobile app space.

AL Quadros, taxi union leader said, “We are in talks with the e-wallet companies so that our drivers can make use of this cashless transaction option, which is absent right now. We are looking at introducing them very soon in most of the cabs”.

Mobile aggregators, too, have taken a hit due to surge in demand. The surge pricing has become a frequent phenomenon during most times of the day with fares rising as much as up to 4-5 times, especially during peak hour. Moreover those opting for cash payment, too, have come down while e-wallets were transferred for paying mobile, electricity and other bills, which until recently was used to pay aggregators.

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