Cen­tre mulls ban on surge pric­ing by app-based cabs WHAT IS SURGE PRIC­ING?

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Moushumi Das Gupta moushumi.gupta@hin­dus­tan­times.com

NEW DELHI: Pop­u­lar taxi ag­gre­ga­tors like Uber and Ola may soon have to go by fixed fares — spell­ing the end of surge pric­ing — with the gover nment plan­ning to bring them un­der the am­bit of the mo­tor ve­hi­cles Act.

The app- based cab- book­ing ser­vices run in a grey area with­out govern­ment checks. Pop­u­lar for their heavy dis­counts and easy avail­abil­ity, their prac­tice of surge pric­ing — in­creas­ing fares when de­mand out­strips sup­ply — has, how­ever, come in for crit­i­cism.

The road trans­port min­istry is work­ing on a proposal to bring taxi ag­gre­ga­tors within the reg­u­la­tory frame­work of the MV Act un­der a new cat­e­gory — ‘ in­ter­me­di­aries’.

A min­istry of­fi­cial said, “In­ter­me­di­aries will cover ser­vice providers such as Uber and Ola that do not have their own ve­hi­cle fleets but func­tion in the online mar­ket space by link­ing driver/owner with cus­tomer and charg­ing a fee for the ser­vice.”

Bring­ing taxi ag­gre­ga­tors un­der the reg­u­la­tory frame­work will mean they won’t get to ar­bi­trar­ily fix fares.

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