The joy ride is over for Ola-Uber drivers

Ola, Uber, Cab protests, Ride aggregator, Drivers, Debt trap, Karnataka, Bengaluru, the federal, english news website
Ola and Uber are no longer appealing employment options. Image: Prathap Ravishankar

In 2014, 38-year-old Devaraj KJ from Mandya, a town about 100 km from Bengaluru, joined Ola. When he quit his job at a small travel company to join the giant ride aggregator, he thought a bright future lay ahead.

Buoyed by the earnings of his peers, who had earlier moved to the fleet, Devaraj decided to take a chance on the tech start-up. It wasn’t long before he began earning as much as ₹70,000-80,000 a month in a car he owned attached to Ola.

However, the good days didn’t last long. “By driving in the peak hours — 5 am to 10 am and 5 pm to 10 pm — I made good money. But it didn’t last for more than two years. My income dwindled by almost 50 per cent and the work was stressful as I was driving about 15 hours a day,” Devaraj says.

Drastic change for drivers

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