How Helpful Are the Govt’s Helpline No for App-Based Taxi Services Effective for Customers?

The bike taxi drivers who charged extra amount for a ride other than the rate it showed in the application for a distance will not charge you anymore
How Helpful Are the Govt’s Helpline No for App-Based Taxi Services Effective for Customers?
Taxi Services in Guwahati

Juthika Baruah

Are you a regular commuter of Rapido, Ola or Uber? If you are then here’s a great relief for you as the bike taxi drivers who charged extra amount for a ride other than the rate it showed in the application for a distance will not charge you anymore.

The bike taxi riders in Guwahati used to take the advantage of increasing fuel prices by charging extra amount for a ride by saying that they have to bear the loss with a less amount that showed in the app while booking a bike.

The bike riders used to allege that the companies don’t pay their commission as per expectation for which they have to bear the loss. Therefore, they charge extra amount from the customers.

One used to book a bike while they were hurry to reach a destination whether to office or to any other personal work but you get delayed by arguing with the bike riders for the rate they charge extra for a ride. This has become a daily harassment for the commuters.

Moreover, it is not only the amount that they charge for extra but also they misbehave with the commuters.

A recent incident of an app-based bike taxi driver who was arrested for allegedly molesting a woman passenger in Guwahati has triggered controversy.

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According to sources, the victim woman had booked a rapido to travel from city’s Jayanagar to Rehabari.

While on the way, the driver, identified as Dipen Gohain, allegedly tried to molest her, after which, the latter shouted.

The agitated driver then hit the woman with a helmet, resulting to injury.

Following the incident, a team of Dispur police apprehended the accused person from Guwahati club based on the complaint.

He was later brought to police station for further legal proceedings.

Following the incident, the Assam Transport department held a meeting with the bike taxi app owners and issued strict warnings to the cab drivers and bike riders against the recent incidents of the attitude of them towards the customers.

The transport department said that the entire cab service is blamed due to a few drivers who are misbehaving with customers either by asking more money, cancelling trips or denying payment methods. The department said that any kind of inappropriate attitude towards customers will not be tolerated and as per their assurance, the department tried to solve the problems. They said that the cab drivers will not be able to demand extra money to customers who are availing a trip.

The department also said that the license cancellation will take place phase-wise if they found any negligence from the cab drivers. The driver will not be able to take trips in the first five days of phase one. In phase two, he will not be allowed to ride his vehicle for next ten days and in the third phase, his license will be totally cancelled.

The transport department also issued a helpline number for the customers to drop complains if they get any problem while booking a bike or a taxi.

While asked whether they receive any complain against the cab drivers, a transport department official said that they receive complains against them on a daily basis. Today also they receive more than five complaints. “The cab drivers mostly misbehave with the outsiders and we are receiving the complaints regularly,” the official said.

On the one hand, the customers complains against the cab drivers for charging extra amount for a ride and on the other, the cab drivers or the bike riders said that they are helpless as they don’t get the adequate commission from the companies.

With the prices of essential commodities rising inappropriately, the common public face the woes but who will listen to it, the government or anyone else? Everyone will have to find the source of income to survive and so is the cab owners who have to run their family, pay insurance, pay the EMIs of their vehicles. As the companies do not pay them well, they have to charge extra for a ride.

But with the government’s new rule for the taxi-based apps, the customers now get a shy of relief as most of them stopped charging extra amount from the customers or they have to pay a hefty fine for it.

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