The Maharashtra government on Saturday announced a set of rules to regulate taxi aggregators such as Uber and Ola, which will include setting lower and upper limits for surge pricing. “The government has decided to fix minimum and maximum price for app-based cabs. This should address the surge pricing issue,” state Transport Minister Diwakar Raote said, adding that a fare fixation committee headed by IAS officer BC Khatua will finalise these rates within a month, The Indian Express reported.
According to the Maharashtra City Taxi Rules 2017, black-and-yellow taxis will be allowed to migrate to app-based operators under stipulations. “Once they migrate, black-and-yellow taxis cannot do business as app-based taxis during peak hours and then go back to being metered taxis during non-peak hours,” Raote said.
Drivers working with app-based taxi aggregators like Ola and Uber will need new permits as the new regulations have restricted their operations to only their city of registration. They were earlier granted all-India permits. Officials of the Maharashtra Transport Department believe that it will take a couple of months for the rules to be implemented, according to Hindustan Times.
All app-based taxis will be painted white with a stripe of daffodil yellow as per the new rules. The government has also established a 24x7 control room to enhance passenger safety and made it mandatory for such taxi operators to enable an SMS alert facility and a two-way communication system. Police verification of drivers to check for any criminal background has also been made compulsory.
Moreover, cabs with tourist permits will not be permitted to function under app-based aggregators like Ola and Uber, while diesel-run tourist taxis will be allowed to operate with such companies only if they switch to clean fuel.