App cab rates should not dip below kaali-peeli tariff level, says fare panel
Mumbai: The Khatua committee set up to formulate a new fare structure for a level playing field between aggregator cabs and other taxis has recommended a limit on not only surge pricing but also the price dips that are common with Ola and Uber.
The low-end prices that aggregators like Ola and Uber switch to when they need to attract customers should not dip below the fare charged by the black-and-yellow taxis for going the same distance, said sources.
The Khatua report was submitted to the transport ministry on Monday but has not been made public yet.
If the recommendation is accepted, the low-end pricing of Ola and Uber is likely to get a lower limit of Rs 14.84 per km, the prevailing fare for black-and-yellow taxis.
Today, low-end fares many a time dip below the fares of black-and-yellow taxis.
Regular users of aggregator cabs have been opposing any government controls on low-end fares that would lead to an increase in ride costs.
“We have only objected to the surge prices, which are two to three times the normal fare during peak hours and during heavy rain,” said Shruti Deshmukh, a regular user of aggregator cabs. “But the low-end fare offers, ranging from Rs 6 per km to Rs 11 per km, should continue.”
A government official said that if hidden costs of aggregator cabs were taken into account — a fixed cost (Rs 40 upwards), a ride time cost (around Re 1for every minute of travel) and the actual cost offered per km — then the average per km cost came to Rs 17 per km.
“It is justified to bring the low-end cost at par with those of kaali-peeli taxis as it will give the two a level-playing field,” the official said.
The Khatua report also lays special emphasis on telescopic fares for black-andyellow taxis, which means the fare increment reduces as the distance increases, decreasing the cost of a long-distance journey.