Pune: The local taxi unions of Lonavla have forced Ola and Uber to stop their services in the township. As per taxi unions, Ola and Uber services within the Lonavla Municipal Council (LMC) limits have been stopped, because of which cabs going outside Lonavla can’t be booked, forcing them to opt for conventional taxi services offered by locals.
Taxi unions, including Lonavla-Khandala Chalak Malak Sanghatna, Maharashtra Vahatuk Sanghatna had organised a ‘thanksgiving’ rally on Saturday, where Mayor Surekha Jadhav and Deputy Mayor Shridhar Poojari were present.
Mahesh Kedari, Pune District President of Maharashtra Vahatuk Sena and a resident of Baramati, said that Ola and Uber backed down after the taxi operators exerted pressure by following up the issue with the municipal council and the police.
“The entry of Ola and Uber in the market means that local taxi operators will have to compete with those who come outside. The city is mostly dependent on tourism as there is no other industry around. Those coming from outside and eating into our share meant the youngsters had to struggle to earn their living. Because of this, we had opposed the operations of Ola and Uber,” said Kedari.
What this means for Ola, Uber
- Ola, Uber cabs can come to drop passengers from outstation but will have to leave the municipal limits empty.
- Tourists trying to book a cab using Ola and Uber receive ‘service not available’ message.
- If the cabs don’t accept trips to Lonavla, travellers can come via train, buses or conventional taxis.
- This may mean that Ola, Uber cab drivers may avoid a Lonavla trip due to financial non-viability, which would, in turn, affect the tourists wanting to visit the town.
- Ola and Uber haven’t yet responded to this issue.