Thousands of Uber and Ola call service taxis stayed off the roads of Bengaluru on Monday during a larger transport strike, affecting commuters, including school students and office workers, in India's Silicon Valley city.
The strike was called to protest against a state government scheme that allows free transport of women in non-premium government buses. Private transporters said the scheme had hurt their livelihood.
Uber and Ola spokespeople asked for more time to assess the impact of the strike and shed light on the exact number of taxis that were not plying in the city, which is notorious for its traffic jams. Bengaluru is one of the top markets for cab aggregators in India.
The strike forced some companies such as Northern Trust to let their employees work from home, while some others such as Nokia urged their staff to find alternative means of transport.
"Our employee cab services also will be disrupted during this strike and cabs will not be available for our regular pick and drop service. Request all cab/company transport users to make their own arrangement to reach office on 11th September 2023," Nokia said in an internal memo seen by Reuters.
"I was looking for cabs and autos for almost two hours, starting from 8 am. There was no auto available and nobody was accepting it either, not even Rapido (a motorcycle app)," Eldho Basil John, who works with software firm Neutrinos, told Reuters. "I had to take my flatmate's bike and get to office".
The public Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation added 4,000 additional bus routes in an attempt to aid stranded passengers, it said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.