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To protest against the popularity of app-based cab aggregators like Ola and Uber, local taxi unions in Lonavala have allegedly stopped the 'outgoing services' from the town. By 'outgoing services', the state taxi operators mean that no cabs can be booked within the limits of Lonavala Municipal Council to travel to outstations like Pune or Mumbai. Tourists or locals have to completely rely on the local cab operators for any service. While booking a cab through Ola or Uber in the restricted zone, users will get an error message reading 'service not available'. “Entry of Ola and Uber in the market means that local taxi operators will have to compete with those who come form Pune and Mumbai. Outsiders eating into our share will also affect the career prospects of the younger generation,” Mahesh Kedari, President of the Maharashtra Vahatuk Sena’s Pune District unit told Indian Express. According to Kedari, app-based cab services can come to Lonavala to drop passengers from outstations but cannot take any bookings while returning. This move by local cab union may force Ola and Uber to avoid the trips to Lonavala due to financial infeasibility.
The tourism industry in Lonavala may be severely affected.However, Kedari is not at all bothered about the negative impact of their decision. He told Indian Express, “It’s okay if they don’t accept trips to Lonavala. Those wanting to come can take the train, bus or conventional taxis.”