Ola and Uber driver-partners, since December 2016, have been protesting the Transport Department’s imposition of a maximum uniform fare of Rs 19.5 per km for AC cabs.
In view of the grievances aired by cab aggregators, the state Transport Department has sent a proposal to the government, asking for its nod on a revised minimum and maximum fare plan.
According to a report by the Times of India, the new plan aims to fix the maximum and minimum fares based on the type of vehicle.
According to Transport Commissioner B Dayananda, cab aggregators had requested the department to increase the maximum fare of AC taxis to Rs 28 per km.
“Since all vehicles do not have the same features, revised fares based on the type and cost of the vehicle have been formulated and sent for the state government’s approval,” Commissioner Daynanda said.
He added that the cost of a ride in an SUV will be more than the ride in a smaller vehicle. The rates will be made public only if the government approves the proposal.
The revised fares were formulated by a committee set up by the department and included all stakeholders, including representatives of the cab aggregators and also members of the various taxi unions.
“The cab aggregators, during peak hours, charge double, or triple or sometimes more, based on the demand. Cab aggregators had lobbied to increase the maximum price to Rs 40 per km. They did not want a cap on minimum rate. However, since the extremely low rates are not profitable for drivers, we have decided to set a minimum fare as well,” the Commissioner added.
Minimum fares are necessary as the aggregators are plying cabs at extremely low rates and cab drivers are not able to meet their operational cost.
“The cab aggregators are bringing in unhealthy competition and the surge pricing method is against the Karnataka On-demand Transportation Technology Aggregators Rules 2016,” he added.