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Have Bengaluru’s auto drivers snapped ties with Namma Yatri? Here’s what we know

The collaboration between Bengaluru's Auto Rickshaw Drivers' Union (ARDU) and ride-hailing app Namma Yatri, initially promising, faces strains due to conflicts over pricing strategies and operational methods. ARDU proposed a flat Rs 40 fare for short trips, which Namma Yatri allegedly dismissed, revealing divergent visions. The app, once zero-commissioned, introduced driver subscription fees, leading to friction and departures from Juspay.

Have Bengaluru's auto drivers snapped ties with Namma Yatri? Here's what we know vkp
First Published Dec 12, 2023, 5:29 PM IST

In recent developments, signs point to a growing divide between Bengaluru's Auto Rickshaw Drivers' Union (ARDU) and the tech-forward ride-hailing app, Namma Yatri. What was once a promising collaboration between the union and Juspay Technologies Pvt Ltd, the parent company of Namma Yatri, now faces strains, casting doubts on their ongoing partnership.

Namma Yatri, initially a brainchild of ARDU, launched on the government's Open Network for Digital Commerce platform with technical support from Bengaluru-based fin-tech company Juspay. It sought to revolutionize the city's auto-rickshaw landscape. However, recent reports and disagreements hint at simmering conflicts, particularly regarding pricing strategies and promotional endeavours, as reported by Moneycontrol.

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Allegedly, discord arose between ARDU and Namma Yatri when the union proposed a flat Rs 40 fare for a 2km radius between metro stations and nearby residences or offices, a proposition supposedly dismissed by the app.

While Namma Yatri prides itself on its inclusivity, citing collaboration with numerous driver unions, the recent friction with ARDU reveals divergent visions on pricing structures and operational mechanisms. The app, which once championed a zero-commission model, introduced a driver subscription fee to sustain operations without levying charges on either drivers or customers.

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Representative Rudramurthy from ARDU emphasized their instrumental role in shaping the app's inception, highlighting early involvement and substantial contributions through driver and passenger feedback. Nevertheless, recent exits of key figures from Juspay appear to strain the collaboration, leaving ARDU feeling undervalued for its initial contributions.

Namma Yatri's journey has been noteworthy, reportedly generating substantial earnings of ₹189 crore for drivers and purportedly saving them nearly ₹19 crore through its zero-commission approach since its launch till October this year. However, recent disagreements between the union and the app's parent company raise uncertainties about the future trajectory of this once-promising venture.

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