Soaring temperatures have landed cab drivers working for app-based platforms in a new challenge. They say they are spending more on fuel and AC maintenance due to the increased temperatures.

“It is increasingly becoming difficult for us to bear the costs from the share that we get from the platforms,” Shaik Salauddin, Founder-President, Telangana Gig and Platform Workers Union (TGPWU), has said.

“If the platforms don’t increase the share, we will launch a No-AC campaign soon,” he said.

Cost breakup

He said the drivers are getting ₹10-12 for a kilometre from the platforms. “But they are forced to spend ₹16-18 a kilometre because of soaring temperatures. Customers are expecting us to switch on well before the ride begins. While on the ride, they ask for higher degree of ACs,” he said.

“We don’t blame the customers. They are justified in asking to increase the AC levels. We want the platform companies to look at the challenge and consider increasing our share. If they don’t listen to our demands, we will have to launch the No-AC campaign in Hyderabad,” he cautioned.

“We, drivers working with Uber, Ola and Rapido apps are unable to turn on the AC in our cabs due to declining per kilometre fares. With temperatures in Hyderabad soaring up to 43 degree Celsius, turning on the AC means that the costs for fuel and maintenance rise,” he said.

He appealed to the customers to help the drivers by paying them tips to offset the additional costs.

The association wondered why the technology algorithms are not factoring in the increased fuel consumption in the harsh summer while calculating the fares.