BENGALURU: The transport department has submitted a draft notification on rules to rein in online taxi aggregators that charge fares arbitrarily. Once the draft notification is approved, online taxi aggregators will not be allowed to impose travel charges as per their whims and fancies, but instead will have to follow a standardised rate chart.
The new rules will closely monitor the fare pricing policy and also lay down guidelines like taxi permits, driver verifications and consumer grievance redressal system. “We have submitted the draft notification to the state government, and it has invited objections, if any, from the operators. After looking into the objections, the rules will be implemented and it will take a month’s time,” said Transport Commissioner Rame Gowda.
Shayama, a commuter, said, “I have been using hired taxi services for the past three months, and every other day, they change the fare. Recently, they have added a per minute charge and on their app, mentioning that it is to provide better services.” At present, the aggregators are keeping their base hiring fare low to attract customers and are also putting in various promotional offers to stifle competition. They, however, are making up their losses by putting in various surcharges time-to-time, which the commuters are forced to pay in the absence of a proper ruling.
Why New Rules
- Earlier, one of the taxi aggregator services charged `80 for the first 4 km and `10 per km after that
- Recently, it increased fares and also doubled the charges for peak hours
- After facing a lot of flak from commuters, the price was brought down from 2.3 times to 1.6 times
- However, this has not gone well with the customers
Once the guidelines are issued, the state government will also expect the operators to declare data on the number of vehicles being operated, and will closely monitor the agreements they ask the drivers to enter into. It will also monitor the conduct of the drivers with city taxi permits for various violations.