Delhi May Soon Set Price Band for Taxi Aggregators
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.