Tiruchy autos decide to operate meter to counter Ola

Auto drivers in Tiruchy have at last decided to operate with meters. The decision has been taken to challenge the recently launched Ola autos in the city. As many as 750 autos have fixed the meter on phase I with which the minimum fare of Rs 30 would be collected up to 1.8 km.
Tiruchy autos decide to operate meter to counter Ola
Representative Image

Thiruchirapalli

Soon after Ola launched its services in the city, autorickshaw drivers faced a stiff competition from them as they charged Rs 29 for a distance of up to four km. Commuters were enamoured by Ola and began to prefer them to the city autos. Therefore, they faced a tough time and drivers attached to CITU decided to operate their autos with meter. Claiming loss, these trade union members had earlier opposed usage of meters.
According to R Sampath, district secretary of the CITU Tiruchy, “We have about 1,500 autorickshaws operating in the city. With the introduction of online application-based transport services including Ola autos, demand for our auto drivers has come down. This made us change our mind and come out with the decision,” he said. 
Earlier, the minimum fare up to 1.8 km was fixed at Rs 25 and Rs 12 for additional km. But in the revised tariff the minimum fare up to 1.8 km was fixed at Rs 30 and for every kilometre from then, it is Rs 15. The Regional Transport Office (RTO) has fixed the waiting charge as Rs 3.50 per five minutes and Rs 42 for an hour. “All the fares have been fixed as per the directive of the RTO,” he said. 
Initially, 750 autos had fixed the meter on Tuesday and the remaining 750 will fix them in a couple of days, they said. When told about the Ola are being lesser, Sampath claimed that those app-based auto drivers allegedly were not given prompt payment in Chennai. We feel that this might happen in Tiruchy also and so those drivers who opted for Ola service would definitely return to fixed meter service soon. This will make good for the difference, he claimed.

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