BENGALURU: Commuters should be ready to shell out a minimum fare of `44 for small cabs and `80 for large taxis for the first four kilometres. The State government on Wednesday notified the minimum fares for aggregator taxis plying in the city.
Under the new fare scheme, a copy of which is available with The New Indian Express, radio taxis, as defined in the Karnataka on-demand Transportation Technology Aggregators rules, will be able to charge fares based on the price of the vehicle. Four classes of taxis have been created with the least expensive cars being categorized in the D category while luxury cars costing more than `16 lakh have been put in the A category.
There will be a minimum fare chargeable for the first 4 kilometres for every class of taxi. This will range between
`44 for D category vehicles and Rs 80 for A category vehicles. Post this, there will be a minimum and maximum range between which aggregators can set their fares. The notification also provides for a free waiting period of 20 minutes with a charge of `10 for every 15 minutes of waiting after this time.
The setting of a minimum fare was a long standing demand of drivers who were facing issues like predatory pricing which brought down drastically their earnings per month. However, for passengers, the new fares are significantly higher than the usual cab fares that commuters have gotten used to in Bengaluru. It remains to be seen how aggregators will change their pricing models accordingly.
Commenting on the prices, Christian Freese, General Manager-South, Uber India, said, “We welcome the efforts taken by the Government of Karnataka to revise the existing fare structure, keeping in mind the interest of hundreds of thousands of driver partners. The revision will help improve their earning potential and create sustainable livelihood opportunities. While it is a step in the right direction, we believe dynamic pricing will help increase reliability for riders and improve asset utilization for driver partners.”
However, Namma TYGR, the recently launched aggregator app that offers flat fares, criticized it as a move done keeping the upcoming assembly elections in mind.
“These fares will only benefit large players like Ola and Uber, and will not help drivers or passengers. We will protest against this in the coming days,” said Tanveer Pasha, director with Namma TYGR, and also the president of the OTU Taxi Drivers and Owners Union.
The notification also states that fares should not be charged according to the time the taxi is in use. Only the fares per kilometer set by the Government should be followed. With most aggregators choosing to charge an extra amount per minute of ride, it is unclear how this rule will be followed by the companies.