Delhi govt to review surge pricing for private taxis
Transport minister Kailash Gahlot on Thursday held a meeting to review the fine-tuning of the policy with transport department officials
The Delhi government, which is currently finalising its cab aggregator policy, is considering requests from operators to allow them to charge surge prices during the morning and evening rush hours, officials aware of the development said. The formulation of the policy is currently in the final stages, and will likely be submitted to chief minister Arvind Kejriwal for his final approval by the end of this month, officials said.
Transport minister Kailash Gahlot on Thursday held a meeting to review the fine-tuning of the policy with transport department officials.
“Under the leadership of CM Kejriwal, the Delhi government is developing the cab aggregators policy to ensure the safety and convenience of the people. The purpose of the policy is to ensure passengers safety, get their grievances redressed, and check the impact of the increasing number of aggregators’ vehicles on the traffic and the environment. The policy has been almost finalised. A fine-tuning exercise is going on. The transport department has received various suggestions from the stakeholders. The Delhi government will consider the suggestions and take a final decision on this soon,” said Gahlot.
The final file will be sent to the cabinet for approval. After cabinet’s approval, the file will be sent to the lieutenant governor for consideration and approval. After the LG gives his nod, the rules will be notified and will become binding on the aggregators and others, said officials.
A transport department official present at the meeting said suggestions received by the department included permitting cab aggregators to charge surge pricing. “The guidelines of the Union ministry of road transport and highways lay down that surge pricing up to 1.5 times of the total fare may be allowed for cab aggregators. The government has to take a final call on this,” the official said, declining to be named.
A second transport official, aware of the matter, said the proposed policy will make it mandatory for taxi-hailing services like Ola and Uber, as well as delivery aggregators like e-commerce companies, to register and obtain operating licences, set up a grievance redressal system, electrify their fleet in a phased manner, get passenger service vehicle badges for their drivers, install passengers safety features in the vehicles, and share the details of fleet and drivers with each ride aggregator, among other requirements.
HT reached out to Ola and Uber, but neither company responded to queries for comments on the developments.
Amit Bhatt, International Council on Clean Transportation managing director (India), said, “For passengers’ convenience and safety besides checking pollution, aggregators’ rules are important, but the government should ensure that the policy it is going to bring an enabling ecosystem for the aggregators.”
At present, the cab aggregator sector in the Capital is unregulated, and operators do not need to register with the Delhi government, do not need to obtain licences, and the government does not even know how many cabs under the aggregators are being operated in the Capital.
The policy in question will bring all aggregators under regulatory framework.
The draft has been prepared under Delhi Motor Vehicles Rules, 2023, which will be binding on ride-hailing companies, door-to-door delivery firms, e-commerce companies and other aggregators. The violation of the rules will invite provisions of fines and licence suspension, officials said.