Delhi May Soon Set Price Band for Taxi Ag­gre­ga­tors

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics - Ak­shay.Desh­mane @times­group.com

New Delhi: App-based op­er­a­tors such as Ola and Uber may soon be forced to keep taxi fares within a cer­tain range in Delhi, as the city’s Arvind Ke­jri­wal govern­ment is work­ing on a pol­icy that seeks to put up­per and lower caps to the prices they can charge. The govern­ment wants to stop them from re­sort­ing to surge pric­ing — the dy­namic pric­ing model un­der which fares rise when de­mand in­creases — to pro­tect the com­muter, while at the same time pre­vent­ing the app-based com­pa­nies from un­der­cut­ting fares and hurt­ing other taxi op­er­a­tors, Delhi govern­ment of­fi­cials said. “The cen­tral govern­ment has told all states to pre­pare a pol­icy. Two states have al­ready made it. We are also mak­ing it,” a se­nior of­fi­cial told ET. “To en­sure bet­ter ser­vice for citizens, the min­i­mum and the max­i­mum will be etched out. Rest, it is the op­er­a­tor’s de­ci­sion.”

The aim is to make the fares more pre­dictable, the of­fi­cial said. “If you take a cab, the op­er­a­tor will tell you it is .₹ 12 per kilo­me­tre. If the max­i­mum price is .₹ 15, then you (op­er­a­tor) can’t take more than that. But you can’t also run at .₹ 4 when your ex­pen­di­ture is .₹ 5,” he ex­plained. The Aam Aadmi Party govern­ment and the app-based op­er­a­tors have been at odds for some time now. The govern­ment wants to reg­u­late them as trans­port op­er­a­tors, but Ola and Uber say they just pro­vide tech­nol­ogy for taxi driv­ers and com­muters to con­nect with each other and aren’t trans­port com­pa­nies. Other taxi op­er­a­tors say the app com­pa­nies are detri­men­tal to them as they, backed by heavy for­eign fund­ing, un­der­cut prices to en­tice riders and give un­re­al­is­tic in­cen­tives to driv­ers.

FILE PHOTO

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