Mobile app based cab-hailing service is becoming a go-to choice for many. With such services becoming mainstream, local state governments are now trying to regulate their operations.
As per the latest report, Maharashtra government is keen to fix the minimum and maximum fares service like Ola and Uber. The government has already appointed a committee that has submitted a comprehensive report with recommendations to the Bombay High Court.
The development comes after several petitions filed by Ola and Uber drivers who have challenged the Maharashtra City Taxi Rule. In the petition, drivers wrote:
According to the rules, app-based taxis will not be allowed to ply within the Mumbai Metropolitan Region on a national tourist permit. The drivers will have to obtain local permits and will not be allowed to ply on their national tourist permits. Obtaining local permits will cost private taxi drivers and owners ten times more than what it costs the drivers of black-and-yellow taxis.
As per the recommendation made by the Maharashtra government, the minimum starting fare for Ola, Uber and other app-based taxi services has been fixed at ₹14, and the maximum at ₹38. Along with that, the committee has also proposed a cap on surge pricing.
The recommendations are in addition to the draft City Taxi Rules made last year, which was opposed by Uber. The cab-haling service giant argued that a price floor will prevent them from offering affordable services and a cap on pricing will make the service unreliable due to higher wait times.
However, the Maharashtra government reckons that it is necessary to regulate app-based taxis and prevent them from being “predatory”, “monopolistic” and “exploitative” in their offerings.