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Delhi transport strike: Handful of autos on roads charge up to 200% of the normal fare

In one instance, an auto driver reportedly charged Rs 500 for a distance of 2km. The fares of app-based cabs also surged by three times the usual amount during peak hours.

TNN|
Updated: Sep 20, 2019, 12.16 PM IST
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A driver sits idle in his autorickshaw at Ramlila Miadan as most of the auto-rickshaws were off the roads due to transport strike on Thursday.
(This story originally appeared in on Sep 20, 2019)
NEW DELHI: With only a handful of autorickshaws plying in the city, commuters ended up paying almost 200% of the usual rates for reaching their destinations on Thursday. In one instance, an auto driver reportedly charged Rs 500 for a distance of 2km. The fares of app-based cabs also surged by three times the usual amount during peak hours.

Commuters at railway stations and bus terminals complained about overcharging and refusal by auto and cab drivers. During peak hours, auto drivers charged fares based on the headcount. While most refused to travel long distances, those taking passengers on short routes charged exorbitant fares.

Outstation commuters, who were caught unawares by the strike, were the most harried lot. They were shocked by the high fares quoted by the auto drivers. Those who opted for app-based cabs were left stranded.

Ankita Dubey, a photographer who had arrived from Kanpur, failed to convince auto drivers to take her from Anand Vihar ISBT to Preet Vihar. “After sometime, a driver, who was not wearing a public service vehicle uniform, approached me and asked for Rs 1,000 for the trip. I had to agree since there were no options. He even took the fare in advance in case I was asked to deboard midway,” she added.

Passengers complained that the presence of traffic policemen hardly acted as a deterrent for the errant auto and cab drivers.

“I found it very difficult to get a cab from my house in Janakpuri to IGI airport in the morning. While the usual fare for this distance ranges between Rs 250 and Rs 280, the fare today was Rs 670. Moreover, I had to wait for 40 minutes for the cab to arrive,” said Sneha Sharma, who works in an MNC. “When the cab arrived, the driver cancelled the ride. He asked me to pay him the fare in cash upfront to take me to the airport. I had no option but to pay him,” she added.

Asked about the surge in fares and unavailability of cabs, an Uber spokesperson said: “We strive to provide reliable and safe transport options to get around the city and hope to minimise any distress to our riders.” Ola refused to comment on the strike.

There were many people who were unaware of the strike. “I wasted half an hour at Kashmere Gate ISBT haggling with auto drivers before one of them told me about the strike,” said Manish Bansal, who had returned from Shimla with his family.

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