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Namma Yatri And Auto Rickshaw Union Part Ways Amidst Differences

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Namma Yatri, an app once celebrated as a union-backed initiative by Bengaluru’s Auto Rickshaw Drivers Union (ARDU), has severed ties with the union. Sources reveal that disagreements, particularly concerning pricing and promotions, led to this unexpected split between Namma Yatri and the Payment Solutions Provider Juspay-operated app.

Bengaluru auto unions' 'Namma Yatri' app is live; first reviews on Twitter  out | Bengaluru -

Source: Hindustan Times


Discord over Pricing Strategies:

The fissure between Namma Yatri and ARDU widened when the union proposed a flat Rs 40 fare within a 2km radius of Metro stations and residences/offices—a suggestion Namma Yatri did not endorse. Notably, ARDU played a pivotal role in Namma Yatri’s inception, with its general secretary, D Rudramurthy, actively involved in mobilizing drivers and generating awareness. However, differences arose, and Rudramurthy expressed concerns over diminishing ARDU’s contributions to the app’s success.

Namma Yatri’s Stand:

Contrary to ARDU’s claims, Namma Yatri asserts itself as “Union-agnostic,” collaborating with all drivers to provide a comprehensive mobility solution. The app’s spokesperson emphasized that Namma Yatri represents the entire driver community, not tethered to any single union. The spokesperson acknowledged the initial involvement of ARDU in Namma Yatri’s launch but clarified the app’s open nature, seeking input from all drivers.

More Money for Drivers, Less Cost for Passengers: 'Namma Yatri' on ONDC Top  Gear in Bengaluru -

Source: News18

Evolution of Namma Yatri:

Originally conceived as a digital cooperative, Namma Yatri gained momentum with support from individuals like Satya Arikutharam, a Bengaluru mobility expert, and driver representatives Rudramurthy and PL Pattabhiram. The app, developed by Juspay on the Beckn open protocol, aimed to empower drivers by improving earnings with transparency. Despite its non-platform-based approach, Namma Yatri faced operational challenges, leading to the introduction of a subscription fee for drivers.

The Subscription Fee Challenge:

To address operational costs, Namma Yatri initiated a subscription fee for drivers, sparking dissatisfaction among many. Some drivers voiced their intention to leave the app due to the unexpected fee imposition. Namma Yatri’s decision to disable the ‘cancel’ option for drivers further intensified discontent among the driver community.

ARDU’s Alternative: Metro Mitra Launch:

Frustrated with delays in Namma Yatri’s implementation, ARDU launched Metro Mitra in September 2023, providing last-mile connectivity for commuters. Unlike Namma Yatri, Metro Mitra operates without a dedicated app, allowing passengers to book rides by scanning a QR code. However, Namma Yatri clarified its non-affiliation with Metro Mitra, emphasizing its commitment to the open nature of its initiative.

Historical Context and Achievements:

ARDU and Juspay collaborated to launch Namma Yatri in November 2022, positioning it as an alternative to ride-hailing giants like Ola and Uber. The app gained traction amid allegations of exorbitant charges by other aggregators. Records show significant enrollment, with 1.31 lakh auto drivers in Bengaluru joining Namma Yatri, serving 37.6 lakh users and generating earnings of Rs 288.3 crore.


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