One sticking point in the policy which was supposed to have been ready by the end of 2019 is the surge pricing.

Money Cab Aggregators Wednesday, February 12, 2020 - 20:14

This is the typical way the government operates. You have been hearing about a policy on the cab aggregators (read Uber and Ola, the only two serious contenders now) for a very long time now. The only development is the government is going to take more time to finalise the draft policy. The reason now given is they want wider consultations with the stakeholders.

One sticking point in the policy which was supposed to have been ready by the end of 2019 is the surge pricing. The cab aggregators claim they have some kind of algorithm which calculates the prices of rides based on the number of cars on the road, the demand for cars they receive through their apps, and the traffic conditions. There is no cap on the surge pricing nor any restrictions on the timing and duration through which the surge pricing can be applied. Riders have often been surprised to find the fares suddenly shoot up for the same destination within seconds and sometimes falling as well.

The draft policy had proposed a ceiling of three times the regular fare from point A to point B as the surge price normally applicable during rush hours in the mornings and evenings. Now it appears some functionary in the top echelons of the government wants this revisited. The government could be thinking in terms of specifying the time slots for the surge pricing as well.

The policy is currently being drafted by the Ministry of Transport. There is also apparently a thinking that a complaint redressal mechanism be included in the policy. The indications earlier were that the government at the Centre may just draft the policy and send it across to the states and advise them to make suitable modifications and adopt them for their respective states.