Autorickshaw in Mumbai are always autonomous, and they would accept the passengers only if they are willing. Obviously to earn more by preferring a longer ride, and from where they could get another passenger, and don’t have to continue empty.
Post Covid-19 lockdown, chances are the government would restrict them to take only one passenger instead of 3. This is where they would be benefitted, at the same time would be in loss.
Those 3 or 4 passengers who always took a shared rickshaw will be forced to take a separate single ride, thus more income. But this is beneficial only for the longer routes. In shorter rides, for example, a single ride from point A to point B is Rs. 22 whereas they charge Rs. 10 from each of 4 passengers through the sharing system for that same short ride. That means an extra profit of Rs. 18 for each shared ride.
But the problem is, not everyone would be willing to take the single ride to save money. They would either ask heir family members to drop them to the railway station or their destination on the motorbike, car, or some may opt for a bicycle, or maybe walk if it’s 1 or 2 km.
This is where our autonomous rickshaw is going to get its lesson with a loss of profits. On top of that, people are already frustrated with the lockdown and would indulge in a verbal fight if the rickshaw driver refuses for the ride to a destination.
I think the traffic department should take some serious steps to solve this problem which every citizen faces. I don’t think people would easily move on to find the approach and beg the next rickshaw if the first one refused, they are going to give earful if not verbally abuse to the autorickshaw driver.
The rickshaw driver should understand the changing times, and get this straight that they are already losing business with the app-based cabs. Things are going to be very different post lockdown, there will be accountability and expectations in return to what people are giving.