Uber and Careem drivers held a protest in Lahore yesterday blocking key roads. The drivers, partners of ride-hailing services, also protested outside Supreme Court registry asking apex court to take notice of the iniquity towards them.

The protestors demanded that the companies should increase per km fare of the rides while also claimed that the city traffic police is biased against them and targets them with excessive challans.

“Many of us have the cars leased from the banks, we want these companies to bring back their loan schemes,” stated one of the protestors near Gaddafi Stadium.

When these companies ventured into Pakistan, they advertised the huge earnings like Rs. 70,000 to Rs. 1 Lac which enticed those who were jobless or getting much lower salaries. People bought cars by selling their belongings while some went for bank leased cars, however, most of them are in a financial crunch now. “It is impossible to meet the targets set by both companies, which disqualify us from bonuses and guarantees and at the end of the month we just earn Rs. 30-40 thousand.”

Many of the experienced drivers now suggest that youth must comprehend the businesses policies and realities before making investments. Getting a leased car for uber and then expecting to cover the installments, house rents, and other expenses is not a valid approach.

It is worth noting here that the companies like Uber and Careem sign a direct contract with the driver partners where they mention all the necessary terms and conditions. The per km fare is determined by the companies keeping in mind the ongoing fuel prices.

As far as the ride-hailing companies are concerned, we would like them to follow the business ethics and guide the driver partners properly about the pricing and profits through videos and physical training sessions.

Speaking of the issuance of excessive challans by the government. If you are on a road, irrespective of driving an uber or careem car or a private vehicle, you have to follow the traffic guidelines. Also, there is no marking on the ride-hailing vehicles which identifies them from others and makes them a target of traffic wardens. Frankly, we didn’t find any substance in this accusation.

Road blocked by uber and careem drivers.

Holding a protest is a democratic right of all citizens of Pakistan, however, no one should be allowed to disturb the flow of traffic. It’s the high time that government stops this menace by proper legislation.