Cabs to cost more as govt sets new minimum fare

UberReuters File

UberReuters File

The new fare structure will come into effect immediately for air-conditioned city taxis operating under Karnataka on-demand Transportation Technology Aggregators rules, 2016 within the radius of 25 km of Bengaluru city.

The notification also mentions that there will be no waiting charge for the first 20 minutes after that Rs 10 will be charged for every 15 minutes.

At the upper end, users will be charged a minimum fare of ₹80 for the first 4 km for larger cars that cost above ₹16 lakh and thereafter a minimum fare of ₹20 and maximum fare of ₹45 per km.

Residents of Bengaluru may now have to shell out a minimum fare of Rs 44 for small cabs and Rs 80 for bigger sedans. Similarly, maximum fare for Class B vehicles will be Rs 34 per km and minimum will be Rs 16.

According to a notification, for category D cabs costing up to Rs 5 lakh for the first four km, charge will be Rs 44 and for kms subsequent to that the charge can be set by aggregators between minimum of Rs 11 and maximum of Rs 22 per km.

Until now cab aggregators like Ola and Uber were free to charge what they wanted, but with this notification, the prices of taxis may shoot up drastically.

"This has been a long-standing demand of drivers who have been complaining about pricing issues, which has led to them earning very low incomes", Revanna added.

Until now, cab aggregators like Ola and Uber were free to surge prices according to their internal calculation of peak demand time. They will not benefit the drivers of normal taxis, nor will the customers benefit from it.

For A category cabs (vehicles costing above 16 lakh), it will be Rs 80 for the first 4 km and thereafter, it will be a minimum of Rs 20 to a maximum of Rs 45 per km. This has been done purely to appease Ola and Uber companies and help increase their revenue.

Uber's GM - South Christian Reese said in a statement that he welcomed the efforts of the State government to revise the existing fare structure, keeping in mind the interests of hundreds of thousands of driver partners. "The revision will help improve the earnings potential (of drivers) 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. "We remain committed to engaging and working with the relevant authorities to enable regulations that can enhance the future of urban mobility in the state". A driver who is attached both to Ola and Uber adds that even if the government adds the price bands and brackets, both cab aggregators will nevertheless find a way to discount and retain the customer.

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