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Staying in Mumbai for a few days. The local taxis here are fairly priced and more convenient than the gig economy cab aggregator apps. No waiting, no location data harvesting, no surge pricing, paying by cash etc. 😇

The taxi unions of Mumbai have collectively launched their own app called Aamchi Drive, but it doesn't seem very popular or even required here. There are so many black and yellow taxis that you can just raise your hand to hail one passing by.

Have to try a double-decker city bus!

@njoseph
Taxis here in smaller cities are common as well, but not competitively or fairly priced at all... ~10x the public transport fee.

@njoseph

There are many downsides to how the autos/taxis are operated in India/Mumbai. The data not being harvested is a good point but the situation is far from ideal and I wouldn't support the current situation, because:

1. Safety: Questionable, at least with apps you can track your ride and share the details with others. I got assaulted, mildly stalked by an auto driver, didn't know details, couldn't take action. At that time, more focused on getting rid of him.

(1/n)

@drango @njoseph I've jumped out of autos in Mumbai twice when they started taking me way off route for whatever purpose. I do find the regular taxis charming, but I've only taken them from the airport, when there's a bit of accountability from the taxi queue receipt. Best incident: black and yellow cab driver picked up a hitch hiking worker that was leaving the airport for the same area as me. 🙂

@bkhl @njoseph Did they at least ask you if you were okay with it?

@drango @njoseph nope, he just behaved as if this was a totally normal thing to do.

@bkhl @njoseph Wow, I'm sorry. They often do this but with people they think wouldn't understand or wouldn't complain. This stopped happening to me as I aged and started taking less and less shit from people. Must have been scary. :(

@drango @njoseph it wasn't scary, he asked several people if they wanted to go before one came along, so I figured it couldn't have been staged, or if it had been it would have been so ludicrously well planned I wouldn't stand a chance regardless. :-)

@bkhl @njoseph Oh! Then you got on a shared taxi. This is basically car pooling in India. These taxi drivers usually wait until the cab is full (with people all going along the same route) before leaving from starting point. It's usually cheaper and environmentally friendly. Good to know! They're good for men, mostly. I take these if there's no other option because India has many penises and in such places they get rubbed against you without your consent.

@njoseph

2. Safety: The condition of vehicles is so bad that me and colleague got lower back problems from just riding in these taxis/autos.

3. Rigged meters

4. Drivers taking long/wrong routes to charge a higher fare.

5. Surge pricing happens still, when there's a dearth of transportation options, like during monsoon season. People often offer extra money over the fare in such situations.

(2/n)

@njoseph

I don't know if you're also from here but it's not all superb, this situation. I feel sympathy for these guys because they work hard to make money but if something's not ok, it's not ok.

Don't support Uber/Ola but it's not like the work ethic of these taxi/auto drivers is just great and everything's safe and amazing. There's a reason why these apps are popular.

Let's not forget the downsides of existing systems that result in the popularity of shitty services.(3/3)

@njoseph welcome to Mumbai. I will try the Aamchi drive app

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