Cab strike in Bangalore: Cab drivers on strike; commuting to KIA hit | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: Passengers traveling to and from Kempegowda International Airport faced hardship, after cab drivers at the airport began a flash strike late Tuesday night and continued late into Wednesday night.
Cab drivers decided to go on a strike after their colleague, Pratap, 34, set himself ablaze inside his cab. He was rushed to Victoria Hospital, but succumbed to injuries at 2 am Wednesday. He was attached to the airport taxi service of Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation.
The strike continued on Wednesday, affecting airport taxi services. The cabbies are expected to take a call on the next course of action on Thursday morning. On Wednesday afternoon, some drivers on the airport road stopped other cabs proceeding towards KIA. Some protesting drivers asked other drivers to drop passengers at the nearest stop instead of going till the airport.
BMTC operates extra buses to meet demand
While commuting from the airport to the city by cabs came to a halt, some cabs did pick up flyers from the city and dropped them at the airport.
Around 45,000 passengers fly through KIA on average every day. On Wednesday, dedicated taxi zones were deserted. After Covid, BMTC has been operating 75 Vayu Vajra buses a day. It operated 15 more buses till afternoon. BMTC managing director C Shikha said they operated additional Vayu Vajra buses to meet the demand.
Anita Krishnan, a passenger, said: “I have a lot of luggage, so it is difficult to travel by bus. None of the cab drivers are accepting bookings. Those who are ready to ply are demanding more.” Another passenger, Vivek K, said: “I came to Bengaluru for the first time, but didn’t anticipate the taxi strike. I have been waiting for a cab for over an hour.”
Drivers staged protests at various venues – airport, in front of the transport head office at Shantinagar and the CM’s residence – and raised slogans. They alleged that Pratap killed himself as he was unable to pay EMIs due to fuel price hike and lack of business after the pandemic.
Cabs and BMTC buses are major transport options for passengers traveling to and fro KIA. Suburban train services are skeletal and unreliable. Passengers travelling in groups prefer cabs to buses.
Bangalore International Airport Ltd, which operates KIA, said passengers can reach out to the airport authorities at @BLRAirport (social media) or give [email protected] or call 080-22102001 for updates on cab services.
Late on Wednesday, BIAL tweeted: “Taxi services at Bengaluru have been regularised. Passengers may opt for app-based taxis or BMTC bus services for travel to and from Bengaluru airport.” However, many passengers said there were very few appbased cabs at the airport.

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Sagar Biswas

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