Transactional formats, mediating devices, and the forensics of recognition: ‘waiting time’ calculation and a political imagination of collective autorickshaw circulation

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Abstract

New technologies for the coordination of urban commercial transit raise questions regarding legitimation of the transactional forms they facilitate. In this article, I will take up a fare calculation proposal produced by an autorickshaw association as an ethnographic artefact to explore the entanglement of two devices, the meter and the app. Though platform-based transportation is often contrasted with ‘traditional’ meter-based modes, in the case of autorickshaws the devices manifest a range of mutual interruptions of transactional formattings of mobility, engendering a complex and multi-scalar milieu with which autorickshaw operators must contend. I examine the proposal’s articulation of ‘waiting time’ as a calculative engagement with this milieu that mobilises the formatting of the meter to inflect an app-based rendering of the time-space of mobility. I show how an agency of immobilisation indexed by strikes and afforded by the street is projected onto the meter and against the app, mediating claims on mobility as an idiom of collective recognition. Analysing the technical details of the proposal concerning the unit of waiting time and its incorporation into fare calculation, I argue that the proposal constitutes a reflections on political technologies of collective recognition that provincialises the figure of the platform as infrastructural transformation.

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APA

Stafford, W. F. (2022). Transactional formats, mediating devices, and the forensics of recognition: ‘waiting time’ calculation and a political imagination of collective autorickshaw circulation. Mobilities, 17(5), 745–758. https://doi.org/10.1080/17450101.2022.2122861

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