The virus scare has hit cab aggregator services also. The work from home verdict too has gone against them.
MILES TO GO: Cab driver Sahni takes a break between rides. Photo: Chandradeep Kumar
When the going was good, Mohan Kumar Sahni, a driver for a cab aggregator service with a family of four, made Rs 50,000 a month. But that was pre-COVID. Just days ago, he would get a ride request within seconds of turning on his on duty’ phone; now his wait could stretch 30 minutes or more. Says Sahni: Customers are full of doubt. Is this driver alright? Who was sitting in his cab?
Does he wear a mask? Sometimes, he says. Does he sanitise his car? No, he says. However, cab aggregators were quick to issue statements seeking to reassure customers. Among other measures, Ola said drivers had been given hand sanitisers and masks, and trained in personal/ hand hygiene. Uber said it would temporarily suspend accounts of drivers/ riders confirmed to have contracted or been exposed to COVID-19. Uber and Ola have seen a 40-50 per cent decline in demand.
FEWER RIDES EQUAL POOR BUSINESS
1. Restrained mobility and social distancing means fewer rides.
2. As do the telecommuting and work from home’ directives to hundreds of thousands of employees.
3. There’s also the cascading effect of the impact on the gig economy.