In a bid to reduce congestion on roads, the transport ministry has issued new guidelines on shared mobility, focusing on pooling services by private car owners.
The government has been supporting shared mobility to tackle pollution and reduce congestion on the roads. One of the agenda items for the National Mission for Transformative Mobility is vehicle pooling and the guidelines are said to be largely the same.
In 2019, the transport ministry had suggested a few guidelines to prevent carpooling from turning into a commercial activity.
The new guidelines give the option of ‘aggregation of non-transport by aggregators’ or carpooling by private vehicles which can be incorporated in ride-hailing apps, unless prohibited by a state government. “Rationale for such prohibition shall be specified in writing and accessible on the transport portal of the state government,” the guidelines said.
Meanwhile, a maximum of four intra-city trips per day and two inter-city trips per week will be permitted for each vehicle with the driver in a shared mobility arrangement integrated with the aggregator.
“The vehicle integrated…shall obtain an insurance of at least INR 5 lakh for the ride-sharers in the vehicle, other than the owner or driver integrated with the aggregator,” the guidelines said.
Female Passengers Can Avail Ride Pooling Only With Other Lady Commuters
The notification has added that female passengers seeking to avail ride pooling on Uber and Ola will be provided the option to pool only with other lady commuters.
Travel aggregators may provide pooling facilities to the riders whose details and KYC are available and who shall be travelling along the same route but with varied stoppages from one point to another under a virtual contract through the app, the guidelines said.
“Female passengers seeking to avail ride pooling shall also be provided the option to pool only with other female passengers,” the guidelines said.
The ministry has put a cap on what Ola and Uber can charge with a new set of guidelines allowing the aggregator to charge a fare 50% lower than the base fare and a maximum surge pricing of 1.5 times the base fare.
This will enable and promote asset utilisation which has been the fundamental concept of transport aggregation and also substantiate the dynamic pricing principle, which is pertinent in ensuring asset utilisation in accordance with the market forces of demand and supply, the ministry said in the notification.
Shared Mobility Hits Covid Speedbreaker
A report by Research and Markets released in April 2020, revealed that the global shared mobility market is set to experience a slowdown due to the pandemic. The gross merchandise value (GMV) for the global market also took a hit and is estimated to grow by a mere 1.1% between 2019 and 2020.
However, with maturity in the market, there is bound to be a shift in consumer expectations around mobility too, and consequently the operating models. While mobility startups such as Rapido, Yulu, Bounce, Vogo, and others are back on the road, a lot has changed in two months of the lockdown. While earlier people were resistant to subscribing to bikes for a long period, human safety is an altogether different and massive consideration, which might force a behavioural change in consumers permanently. And that’s what many bike-sharing and two-wheeler startups are banking on to make the most of a tough situation.