There is a huge commotion over the entry of Ola and Uber in the state of Goa. First of all let me tell you that, OLA and UBER are just the platforms on which the entire system works. The Local Taxi Drivers have become very sensitive to the entry of OLA and UBER in the state but in reality, the entry of OLA and UBER will only give an additional business to the local taxi drivers in the state and it will in no way take away their existing business from them. This article will give you the complete insight into the issue of OLA and UBER and how it will not cause any threat to the existing taxi business in Goa.
First of all, we need to understand what is the OLA and UBER are all about. The beginning of a social media campaign to get the OLA and UBER in the state caused a huge commotion amongst the local taxi drivers and everyone came out on the roads in the protest of the same. Without even knowing or doing the study about what OLA and UBER are all about and how it will affect their existing business.
Let me tell you here that, OLA and UBER are not the taxi operator or the drivers or any association. They do not have their own Taxis or the Taxi Drivers. OLA and UBER (of course it is a business) is just a platform which brings the customer and Taxi drivers together and makes money from it. in Short, the OLA and UBER are the cab aggregators which links the passengers with cab drivers and you may also call them mediators.
HOW THE ENTIRE SYSTEM WORKS
To begin with, OLA and UBER, The major difference between OLA and UBER is their origins. The OLA CABS company is owned by an Indian entrepreneur Bhavish Agarwal from Delhi while the UBER is founded by an American entrepreneur, Travis Kalanick having their headquarters in California, USA.
Both OLA and UBER are the Mobile APP platforms and it gives a freedom to commuters to book their rides from wherever they are with the help of a Mobile APP. Once the ride is booked everything has been systematically handled by the software which includes informing the nearby drivers (those who have registered with OLA or UBER) and letting them know about the customer in their location. This gives the complete freedom to the registered drivers to decide whether to take it or leave it.
Once the booking is done the software sends the updates to all the drivers in the nearby locations and one of them is confirmed. There is no binding on any driver to stick to their services and not to take their own private assignments. This way the OLA and UBER only provided the new opportunities to the existing business of the taxi driver.
Customers prefer to book their rides through these services due to the convince and transparency (the passengers are made aware in advance about the charges they have to bear for the particular journey) The taxis are laced with the GPS devices and other required safety equipment to bring them at par with international standard.
According to the information, OLA cabs even pays the drivers just to be on their panel this means even if the driver does not get a single ride on a day he or she still gets paid for it by the company, said the sources. This makes the job more secure and the best things are they have the complete freedom of choice.
THE EXISTING SCENARIO IN THE STATE
By and large, Goa does not have a good public transport system in the place. The Kadamba is the lone government operated shuttle bus service that provides a certain amount of relief but the growing population in the state cannot depend on that alone. The private buses overcharge and timings are bad besides their arrogance turn down the passengers. The taxi service in Goa, according to the locals is one of the most expensive in the state. Under such circumstances, the only choice people of Goa have before them is using their own vehicles which in turn creates the huge traffic chaos in the small state of Goa where the roads are not capable of taking the load of ever growing traffic.
The locals Goans, as well as the huge amount of tourists pouring into the state, makes use of the private transport service by way of hiring the vehicles (rent a car and bikes). The increase of traffic load on the Goan roads causes accidents on the daily basis. The only solution to this scenario is the improved public transport service which is not possible in the near future due to the lack of infrastructure and finances as the existing Kadamba service is already running in loss.
The social media petition launched by the NRI Goan is one such initiative towards the improvement in the poor transport services in the state. Goa is one of the major tourism destination in India and approximately 5 million people travel to Goa every year which is more than twice the population of the state. Taking into the consideration above figure the entry of OLA and UBER will be the added advantage as the passengers will get more options and local taxi drivers will get the additional income source.
WHO WILL GET AFFECTED BY THE ENTRY OF OLA & UBER
The entry of OLA and UBER will benefit everyone including the tourists and local alike. There is a misconception that the taxi drivers will lose their bread and butter. In fact, the situation will be another way round and there will be more opportunities for the local taxi drivers. The entry of OLA and UBER will also lead to reducing the number of private vehicles running on Goan roads as more and more people will start using the services of OLA and UBER. There will be sharing taxi services which do not exist at the moment and the costs will be more transparent compared to the private taxi operators.
The OLA and UBER are running successfully in all the major metro cities of India and Goa does not want to remain behind as the population in the state is growing rapidly and tourist inflow is also increasing. According to the sources, the people of Goa and tourists wants OLA and UBER but the local taxi operators are agitating for no valid reasons.
WHO WILL BENEFIT WITH THE ENTRY OF OLA & UBER
Based on the social media response to the entry of OLA and UBER, the majority of the Goans feels that OLA and UBER should start their services in Goa since it will benefit everyone. According to the sources, there will be a healthy competition in the market which is the need of a day and consumer will benefit from it. The better and competitive environment will lead to increase in business. There will be more transparency in the business and drivers will not be able to fleece the tourists as well locals.
WHAT IS WRONG IN CREATING AN APP LOCALLY
There is another angle coming into the picture and that is the creation of an APP like OLA and UBER by the local taxi operators. The Tourism Department of Goa is also speculating about the launching the similar APP and run this business. But OLA and UBER are not just the computer APP but a full-fledged platform under which hundreds of thousands of drivers across the globe getting employment and creation of such platform takes a lot of time and resources which is not possible in Goa in the near future. Goa Tourism had launched the Women’s Taxi Service last year but the same is hardly working at the moment.
Meanwhile, the OLA and UBER is existing platform and running successfully and the locals are planning to duplicate something which is not practical. It is better to allow the existing platform to start their services and take advantage of it as the cost of advertisement and other operational costs will work out much more compared to the entry of OLA and UBER in the state.
There is need of taking a look at the situation from the angle which is unbiased and practical. The OLA and UBER will not physically enter the state but their APPs will be downloaded by the people of Goa on their mobile phones. The OLA and UBER will only invite the online application from the interested Taxi Drivers and Operators but in case the local taxi operators and drivers does not take part in that then there is a strong possibility that they (OLA and UBER) may appoint the contractors and get the taxi and drivers from outside the state and if that happens the local taxi drivers will be at receiving end. What is your opinion on this? Do you think that agitation will be able to create the permanent barrier in the entry of OLA and UBER? Is it better to give them the opportunity to get their own contractors in the state or become the part of it and make some money? Please do share your views and suggestions on this burning issue.
IMAGE SOURCE: FACTLY