Drivers of cab-hailing services in twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad are finding it hard to make both ends meet due to reduced customers amid prevailing Coronavirus lockdown and riders’ reluctance to travel out of fear of catching the virus
ISLAMABAD, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News – 30th Jun, 2020 ) :Drivers of cab-hailing services in twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad are finding it hard to make both ends meet due to reduced customers amid prevailing Coronavirus lockdown and riders’ reluctance to travel out of fear of catching the virus.
The companies operating these cab-hailing services are not providing any relief to the already poverty-stricken drivers whose livelihood are severely affected after the lockdown situation and getting their full margin of profit on each ride.
“I started my work at 6:00 am after getting the car from the owner and got just one ride till 4:00 pm earning Rs. 300. After keeping aside the 27 percent margin of the company, I spent the rest of the amount on refueling to roam around the city to get more rides”, Sajid Hussain, a driver of a well known cab-hailing service said.
The amount of Rs. 200 earned through the second ride till evening was also spent on one time meal and tea as I didn’t take my breakfast, he said. “With this meager amount, how would I manage to pay house rent of Rs. 8000 to my landlord who daily knock my door. How would I feed my children who wait for me to bring something for them after passing the entire day outside,” he lamented out of stress.
Another driver of the cab-hailing service provider, Kashif Noman said, “I managed the last month expenses with the amount of Rs. 12,000 received through applying to the Ehsaas Emergency Cash Program.
“I am worried how I will manage running household affairs this month when I am hardly earning Rs. 200 to Rs. 300 a day which are insufficient to survive in the prevailing price hike situation”, he said.
Murad Ali, another driver working through his own car said, majority of the people were showing reluctance in travelling through hiring these services fearing of getting infected of Coronavirus despite following all the precautions by the drivers.
“We are wearing masks and gloves, disinfecting the cars and even not using Air Conditioners in the hot summer season but finding no customers”, he said.
He urged the government to provide a relief package to them on continuous basis till the prevailing lockdown situation in the country ends.