Mumbai’s traditional Black-Yellow cabs lock horns with Ola and Uber by launching its own booking application,’9211′.
In today’s time of technology-enabled business, adaptation is the key to survival and that’s what Mumbai Taximen’s Union and Mumbai Taxi Association have done by jointly launching an app of their own known as ‘9211’. This decision is made to tackle the recent advances made by cab aggregator giants like Ola and Uber, which have had adverse effects on their business.
This app would work similarly to that of Ola and Uber’s app, albeit the dynamic pricing, and would allow the users to locate and book cabs near them. According to the leaders of these associations, more than 35,000 cabs will offer rides at government approved rates of Rs. 22 for the first 1.5 kms. This app will be incorporated with excellent safety features like an SoS button and GPS tracking, especially for women passengers travelling alone. Every trip will be monitored from a centralised control room and police would verify the background of all the driver for enhanced security.
In the initial stages, unions have decided to take cash payments only but have indicated that they would soon introduce the option for online payments as well. They have set the Diwali deadline to introduce the ‘9211’ app to the public. This is an excellent decision by this traditional business to face the evolution taking place and adapt to modern technology. Though time will only tell whether this move turns out to be profitable for the Mumbai’s Black-Yellow cabs or disrupts its business even further.
However, it is not wrong to say that the real reason behind the success of Ola and Uber is the poor service provided by the Black-Yellow cabs. It is very common for the drivers to refuse passengers to take them to certain places where they may not find passengers for their next ride, or if the ride distance is short. Sometimes, they may ask for extra money to carry out the ride. Also, the condition of most of these cabs is really smelly and filthy and there is no working regulation to maintain them. All these collectively have resulted in forcing the customers to divert to Ola and Uber, which provides better cars and services.
Though the real fight is between fleet cab aggregators and Mumbai’s Black-Yellow cabs, it seems that the ultimate winner would be the customer, and this might end the plight of Mumbaikars commuting by taxi.