Ride-hailing has been considered as the profit-making business for over years and growing day-by-day. However, the dark side of the online taxi business has gone unnoticed. The on-demand taxi service may be a boon for passengers and aggregators as it provides convenience in all ways from booking till payment. But, how about the drivers who drive for online taxi companies? The voices of struggling ride-hailing drivers are going unheard. The arrival of the ride-sharing concept has shut off the traditional taxi business and spoiled the business of taxi drivers that made the drivers take up the online ride-hailing business or work for any online service providers. They have been pushed into a situation where they have to accept the regulations set by online taxi companies.
The disruption of the on-demand taxi business is unprecedented and has made many to step into the business as they feel it as an enticing opportunity to earn money. But, on a day-to-day basis, ride-hailing drivers are facing crucial and life-threatening problems that are affecting their livelihood. Most of the drivers have accepted such a business model and adopted it. But, a few others are being forced to take up this option because they may not have any other option or less fortunate to buy a taxi management software as did many traditional taxi companies in this technology-driven business world. On the other hand, taxi drivers have hesitated to embrace this concept because of their technological ignorance.
In the current-day situation, following are a few major challenges that most of the drivers face:
- Low trip fares
- High operator commission
- Life-threatening safety concerns
- Trip limitations set by taxi aggregators
- Excessive freebies, offers, and discounts to passengers
- Unprecedented regulatory steps that were taken by the respective government
Several studies have proved that the drivers who are driving for ride-hailing companies are getting squeezed. For many, driving would be the main source of income where they will be struggling to pay for fuel, insurance, maintenance, and inspection, which has been made mandatory and to be done periodically. Besides, they have to work for hours and take a number of rides to earn the money they were earning before. Being a taxi driver, he has to be polite and should be eminent in handling passengers.
Even though the industry giants like Uber and Lyft have introduced many beneficial programs exclusively for ride-hailing drivers, they are still facing a lot of problems and challenges. The only advantage that the ride-hailing drivers enjoy is flexible work timings.
Taxi Driver App and Its Incorrigible Features
The service providers, as well as the tech solution providers, have enhanced the ride-hailing apps with improved features like subscription plan, safety button for drivers, feedback option to address driver concerns over passengers, refer and earn model, bonus plans, and many more. The applications have also been simplified and made user-friendly for the drivers to use with no difficulties. However, drivers are facing problems and struggling to win their daily bread. The taxi driver app is the only connecting source between the taxi company and the driver that is not enough for them to address their concerns to the admin.
There must be a common regulatory system for these ride-hailing companies. Then only, these problems can be solved. Otherwise, the drivers will be on the verge to adopt the car-sharing concept or have to starve and protest against online taxi companies as we are witnessing in various regions across the globe. It would be good to bring revolutionary features or system to safeguard taxi drivers other than the driver-centric features.