Yesterday was an auto strike in Mumbai and Thane..the Navi Mumbai goons decided to stay away. The strike brings to the fore how well these hooligans in uniform are organised and how brazen they are. One of the important reasons for the strike – the demand is ‘we will not use the electronic meters’ – obviously because they cannot tamper with it!!

It is time that the users make a body called ‘Auto and Taxi users union’ which should also decide that they will not use autos if they behave like hooligans. Yesterday a friend traveled from Vashi to Nerul – and a lady also wanted to travel the same distance. The auto driver charged her Rs. 80 and my friend paid Rs. 70. Drivers total income Rs. 150. Distance about 12 km. Same rates as Jet Airways? LOL.

It is time the consumers tell them ‘this Friday we will not use an auto’ or reduce the usage by partially walking the distance.If the consumers cannot come together and prove that we are united, and also that we are not lazy I think we will  have to suffer these hooligans.

Only an informed consumer is king – whether it is an auto or a ulip.

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  1. Think about Auto! And one cannot forget my town, Chennai. Autos sport Meter, but only for namesake. One has to haggle! Thankfully, there are some prepaid counters in Chennai Central Railway Station. Meter Call Taxis are doing very well here.

  2. I am Ok to have raise in basic fare of riksha as it has not done since last six years but at the same time we must unite to stop this hooligan of strike , union and on top it riskhawalla keep on refusing to ply. To charge changed basic fare riksha must have electronic meter

  3. Its an individual calls also, after an encounter with tempered meter, now, whenever I need an Auto, I specifically ask for “digital” metered auto. earlier, they had a strange look on their face by such demand, but now as some drivers recognize me, the one with digital meter call me by his own and others just keep looking. So such type of practice at least demoralized them and push to have a digital meter.

    @NPR: I lived in Chennai for 7-8 months and experience with auto wallahs was terrible. I bet you can’t find such a pathetic auto service else where in India.

    Jagbir Singh

  4. Jagbir

    i presume you are from Mumbai. Cross the bridge come to Vashi…it will be like visiting Chennai. People have to come together and protest by reducing usage.


    fares were fixed on the basis of diesel prices. Gas is much, much cheaper – that is why they could afford to use such rates for 6 years.

    One way out is to put 50,000 new ricks in Mumbai and 100,000 new ricks in Thane and Vashi. Then let people negotiate. Most ricks will negotiate DOWN not up.

  5. what about the fact that these unions exist only because autorickshaws are “regulated”.if there were no such “licenses” and permits to be obtained to run a rickshaw,there would be no strike nor any union.the consumer will then be far as the sarkar wants to control prices,either for fuel or the fare price,you can expect unions to ignore the consumers -because they know that their power comes from not serving the consumer,but from licking the babu/neta’s arses.

  6. Just felt like sharing my experience in UK.
    I wanted to go to a community hall with my friends for Diwali Party.
    We called a cab and started for the place from our office. We had informed about destinaton address while booking cab.

    A lady cab driver came to pick us. We were on the way and at one point the driver realized that she had taken a wrong turn. Immediately she stopped meter and informed us that she has stopped it. She started it again when we were back on track. I was wonder struck to know such facility exists and honesty to use it as well.

    I hope we will get such service in India as well!

  7. I have had good and bad experience with taxi drivers and auto ricks in Mumbai. In navi mumbai my experience has generally been bad. And am not willing to comment on the whole community of drivers. Also market arrived rates are always better than rates fixed by a fiat.

    2 cases stand out.

    A friend wanting to travel from VT to Andheri at 11pm would ask a few taxi drivers…and usually he could NEGOTIATE a rate HALF THE METER RATE – saying ‘you anyway have to go….take me there at half price’ – IT ALWAYS WORKED.

    WHEN my Dad would come back from Mumbai…at Sion he would want to shift from a taxi to an auto. However in almost all cases, the driver would offer to drop my dad in Ghatkopar at the same AUTO fare.

    So if left to the people, correct prices will prevail. Either the buyer will negotiate the price (survival) or the seller will negotiate the price. That is all.

  8. sarang,
    i hope you tipped her well!. no wonder we dont tip shabby cabbies in india.the worst are the blue colored cool cabs.they overcharge and provide horrid service.i like meru and mega though.polite drivers and clean cars.i dont mind tipping them if they help me with the luggage -especially because they DONT ASK for tips.

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