Mumbai's Cabbies and auto drivers breathe a sigh of relief


The resumption of local trains might have brought relief to many Mumbaikars, the last mile connectivity remained an issue on the first day. With sharing auto-rickshaw and taxi services operating in a limited capacity, many commuters had to face inconvenience to reach stations.

“Sharing autos are operating in a limited capacity, as a result, we had to wait for a longer time at the rickshaw stands,” said Ankit Patel, a software analyst based in Borivali.

“It’s easy to get sharing autos easily during the morning peak hours, during afternoon getting autos become a problem,” said Deepen Yash, a commuter.

Due to the non-availability of frequent auto-rickshaw services, commuters also fell back to BEST buses. However, during the peak hours, conductors were not letting the buses get overcrowded.

“The buses running in feeder routes are smaller in size, as a result, they can only intake a limited number of passengers,” stated Deepak Sathey.

Meanwhile, auto-rickshaw and taxi drivers breathed a sigh of relief, following the resumption of local train services. Thampi Kurien, general secretary of Mumbai Rickshaw Men’s association, stated most of the auto-rickshaw drivers have gone to their home-town after the lock-down was imposed and many of them are yet to return to the city.

“Till December, 80% of the drivers were not in the city, now that trains have resumed they will also come back and normal services will also be restored in a few days,” Kurien told FPJ.

Ashish Salvi, leader of Shiv Sena affiliated auto-rickshaw outfit stated, many routes on which sharing auto-rickshaws run, were being temporarily dissolved by the unions, many of which will soon be restored by the end of this week.

“Traffic police used to levy a fine on our drivers if there were more than two passengers in the rickshaw, due to which many routes were dissolved, now we will be resuming services in these routes soon,” Dalvi told FPJ.

Al Quadros, general secretary of Mumbai Taximen’s Association stated that the resumption of local trains will boost their business.

“Now that local trains have started our business can improve from here as 90 per cent of our target passengers are daily office goers and traders,” Quadros told FPJ.