Mumbai taxi drivers demand fare hike, threaten strike
After the Mumbai local AC train fare was hiked recently, taxi drivers' union in the city has urged the government to increase the taxi fare as CNG prices and insurance costs have gone up.
After the Mumbai local AC train fare was hiked recently, taxi drivers' union in the city has urged the government to increase the taxi fare as CNG prices and insurance costs have gone up. The passengers may have to shell out more for taking a ride in black-and-yellow taxi if the Maharashtra government accede to the demand. Mumbai Taximen’s Union has demanded to increase the minimum fare from Rs 22 to Rs 30. In this regard, the union has written a letter to the state government urging it to hike the minimum fare for taxi ride.
The black-and-yellow taxis are one of the main transport options in the city after Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) buses and local trains. These drivers have threatened the government that if their demand was not met then they will go on strike. Last time taxi fare increase in the city was in June 1, 2015, when the fare was raised from Rs 21 to Rs 22 for every 1.5 km.
Mumbai Taximen Union chief AL Quadros told Zee Business TV that, "In these four years, expenses have gone up multiple times. Cost of living, maintenance, and insurance cost have gone up substantially besides the CNG price increase for five times. Therefore, it has become difficult to drive a taxi. Hope that the government will accept our demand or have to go on strike."
In the last four years, CNG prices have been increased by Rs 9 and insurance premium has also increased during this time. Therefore, taxi drivers say that they are incurring a loss of Re 1 for each km. In this situation, driving taxi is not viable. If the government do not accede to the demand of hiking minimum fare then, the drivers say, they will not have any other option before than abandoning this profession.
Passengers whom Zee Business TV talked, had a mixed reaction. One of the passengers said that increasing the fare from Rs 22 to Rs 30 per 1.5 km will is unjustifiable. Instead, the hike can be up to Rs 25 for per 1.5 km. Another passenger complaint about the service quality of these taxis on Mumbai roads. There are about 25,000 black and yellow taxis registered in Mumbai.