App-based cab aggregators now under metrology dept scanner

App-based aggregators Ola and Uber may soon have to install digital meters and get it approved by the Department of Legal Metrology.

BENGALURU: App-based aggregators Ola and Uber may soon have to install digital meters and get it approved by the Department of Legal Metrology.


“Cabs of app-based aggregators will have to install digital meters with printer and GPS tracking device and get it approved, verified or stamped,” said a senior official of the department. 


He said operating taxis without government approved digital meters is in violation of the Legal Metrology Act. “We have been checking meters of traditional taxis as well as autorickshaws every year. App-based taxis in the city will also have to follow the rules.

We will take action against errant cab operators after consultation with the Transport Department .”  At present, app-based cab aggregators measure the distance by using GPS over a mobile device instead of digital meters.

According to rules, any measuring instrument that leads to a transaction should be verified by the Legal Metrology Department. The Karnataka On-Demand Transportation Technology Aggregators Rules, 2016, also make it mandatory for taxis to operate with digital meters that can generate printed receipts. 


A recent study conducted by International Center for Automotive Technology (ICAT) found that poor mobile network may create discrepancies in calculating fares by measuring distance using GPS. The study also found that malfunctioning GPS due to poor mobile signals resulted in an increase in the fare in most cases.  


Autorickshaw and taxi unions in the city have been demanding that app-based operators should also install digital meters claiming that present GPS-enabled phones are not accurate in calculating the distance travelled.


However, many commuters says that app-based fare calculation using GPS is more reliable than traditional meters. “Many autorickshaws in the city are plying with tampered meters, but enforcement agencies has not taken any action against them so far. We can at least track the distance using the app, but there is no such facility in autorickshaws and taxis,” says K Sathish Kumar, a regular auto passenger.  

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