The perils of being a taxi aggregator in India are real, and facing some serious rebuttal from yellow taxi drivers and the government. Ola, and Uber have recently come under immense scrutiny from the transport ministry and Delhi government in the past couple months or so. And now more reports confirming the decision of an upper cap on surge pricing are surfacing on the interwebs.
Transport Ministry, working hand-in-hand with AAP, has been hard a work, drafting a new set of policies for cab aggregators in the whole country. These could put a full-stop to the multitude of controversies and heckles in different states. There have previously been reports that the policy drafting committee will ponder over the idea of introducing an upper cap on surge pricing.
But the government is now adamant on defining a maximum cap to monitor the surge pricing for cab aggregators Ola and Uber, say people involved in the policy making process. These will be applicable specially in the economy taxi segment that caters, and is the first choice, of users in the country. A senior official of the Road Ministry says that this will allow market demand to define the next move, and also ensure adequate round-the-clock availability of cabs.
The idea of introducing caliberated meters to monitor fare in these cabs is, however, now being reconsidered and would probably not be recommended in the final draft. These central guidelines, proposed to be affective in a couple months, would also apply to the rapidly growing two-wheeler taxi ecosystem in the country. And why wouldn’t it be!? The rides are dirt cheap and allow you to commute to your destination chatting and enjoying the fresh breeze hitting you square in the face.
We do not want to get into the auto fare meter concept. If fares are too high, market forces will take over. But we cannot allow unlimited surge pricing and will define a maximum cap for the same. It will help in protecting consumer interest in the economy taxi segment,
adds the senior official of the Road Ministry.
The drafting committee constituting the ministry of road, transport & highways (MoRTH) is currently outlining some finer points and will submit the final report by the end of next month. These recommendations would be just an advisory suggestion, and non-binding in nature.
However, the long-lasting debate of surge pricing, fare fixation, safety of passengers and the methods used to define the fare will finally have a fixed guidlines throughout the country. The government can also introduce policies to help reduce the entry barriers and make cab aggregation+driving easy for those looking to join the same.