Just a day after the successful second phase of the odd-even rule in New Delhi, Uber and Ola are back again to impose surge pricing on its commuters, in the name of peak hours and low cab availability. And Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is displeased with this rebellion and has warned the cab companies against strong Legal action.
In an effort to make more revenues and benefit cab drivers, Uber and Ola had introduced surge charges for their cabs, during peak traffic and office hours. But due to the odd-even rule, a lot of commuters were being forced to pay a hefty amount to travel via these cab-services, so they had filed complaints regarding the surge charges to Mr. Kejriwal. The government had thus urged the cab-providers, Ola and Uber, to stop charging extra as it was against law and their cabs will be impounded if they did so. And the cab-services ‘temporarily’ complied.
But, on Sunday, just a day after the end of the Odd-Even Rule, the surge prices were back in effect on the Ola and Uber apps, thus having the commuters to shell out extra bucks again. The re-introduction of surge charges is also due to the recent order passed by the Supreme Court, which bans diesel-run taxis from the capital, Delhi, thus, affecting about 27,000 taxis all over the capital.
An Uber spokesperson has also confirmed the recent development saying that ‘suspension of surge pricing was only a temporary measure‘.
When the news reached Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, he tweeted,
Some taxis hv started charging surge. Surge not allowed under law. They r warned that strong action will be taken against them
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) May 1, 2016
An official from the transport department also responded on the surge pricing issue saying that,
We received several complaints on Sunday. From Monday, teams will be deployed to impound cabs for overcharging. Charging the correct fare is the responsibility of the permit owner. The government has laid down the maximum fare and any kind of surge exceeds this limit. The app-based cabs[Ola/Uber] are as it is unlicensed and we will be bringing a policy for them within a week.
The app-based cab-services, like Ola and Uber, believe that surge pricing makes it easier for them to make cabs available to its commuters, even during their (made-up) peak hours. But, the Delhi government will not just stand and look at the situation from the side-lines, the traffic police from tomorrow will starting impounding taxis who charge surge prices, just like they had done during the first week of the Odd-Even phase.
In an official tweet sent later y, Ola has stated that it has removed surge pricing for now :
There is currently no peak pricing on the Ola platform in Delhi NCR.
— Ola (@Olacabs) May 2, 2016