ArpitGarg's Weblog

An opinion of the world around me

Ola Uber surge pricing: Paid Media decry the ban

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olauber.jpgApp based Taxi services have been charging higher during peak hours under the fancy name of ‘Surge Pricing’. There has been a lot of hue and cry by public across the country, but given the pathetic state of public transport, people could do nothing but pay often x2, x3 the fare.

Similar thing was noticed during Odd/Even days in Delhi when understandably the demand was high. People ended up paying up to x4 the fare. Then came the warning from Delhi Govt., post which the surge pricing was suspended by both Ola and Uber. What I noticed next was really funny.

Uber sent a notification to its users explaining that if they see ‘no cabs’ around, it is due to the surge pricing ban by Govt. And then there were paid lobbyists who started campaigning under the garb of ‘blogs’ on news websites. They say what Delhi Govt has done is death to free market and sends a wrong signal to innovation. They use the same fancy term, ‘Surge Pricing’ which is an ‘algorithm’ developed by these companies based on demand and supply. Let me point out why they are hypocrites.

These were the same people who used to tear up their clothes and run naked, when asked return fare by auto drivers. “These auto wallas, I tell you. Such bad people. The guy charged me half return (x1.5). The loot I say”. Those were their lines. Now they are justifying Surge Pricing. Just coz auto wallas didn’t pay them to lobby on their behalf and Ola/Uber did. Or maybe because they consider poor auto drivers perfect vehicle to vent their anger and rich taxi aggregators too premium to lambast. Or maybe they have some other convoluted justification.

If they ask for free market then why the smirk when auto unions ask for hike in auto fare? Why smirk when during peak hours auto drivers ask for x1.5 or x2. Don’t they deserve surge pricing? Or is surge pricing only applicable for those having AC cabs.

What more is, I have seen such anger at auto drivers among the so called educated people. As if auto drivers are kings and live in palaces. They are poor people and live in shoddy conditions. But no, they don’t deserve surge pricing. Only AC cabs too.

No doubt cab aggregators have made life simpler for commuters. They provide safety and security. But they should not be allowed cannibalism. First eliminate competition (autos) by making losses/providng free rides and then go for the kill (surge pricing).

I am not against surge pricing as it comes heavy on my pocket. I am against it as it is cannibalism. India has a lot of poor people who live by driving auto rickshaws. We need to protect their livelihood for the sake of humanity.

And remember all the coupons and 6/- per km rides will go away very soon. And when the prices become stable, what will remain are carcasses of auto’s and the surge pricing.

Written by arpitgarg

April 21, 2016 at 12:59 am

Posted in General/Society

Tagged with , , , , , , ,

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