The risk that drivers of radio cabs are exposed to is somewhat different.
Most of them have to pay a daily cut (of up to Rs 1,500) to the radio cab agency that provides them business, and they have to foot their own fuel expenses. If they want to own the cab they drive, they also have to make a hefty down payment. High turnaround thus becomes very necessary.
For the cab drivers of Bangalore, where traffic is a nightmare, the pressures can be real.
Chandrasekhar, the proprietor of local taxi company Quick Cabs which has a fleet of 120 cars, says if the driver does not reach the destination on time, he has to give the customer a discount of Rs 100 which is deducted from his salary.
Quick Cabs driver Balaji S adds that if a customer, annoyed with a tardy chauffeur, either pays him less or lodges a complaint against him, again money is deducted from his salary.
The rule might tempt the driver to overspeed, but if he is caught doing so while on duty he has to pay a fine.
Balaji recently had to fork out Rs 300 as penalty for speeding on his way to the airport, which went from his fixed monthly salary of Rs 7,500 (excluding daily expense on long trips). He says fortunately he has not met with any accident while on duty.
Sakshi Vij, the head of marketing at Carzonrent, the largest car rental company with 6,500 vehicles under the Easy Cab brand, denies any extra pressure on drivers.
"All cars are tracked with GPS, and it is the chauffeur who is closest to the destination and available for duty is sent," she says.
If the GPS tracking shows that a driver is speeding, a message is sent to him to slow down. If he does not, the company calls the customer and tells him to ask the chauffeur to slow down.
"Even if the customer happens to be in a hurry, we tell them this is for their own safety," says Vij.
The company, she adds, has not had any major accident so far, "touch wood".
Image Courtesy: Fast Track