Being earlier wrapped up by the Delhi Government on surge pricing issues, Ola and Uber are now framed by Indian Road Ministry on the ways fares are calculated. Both the companies have been asked to start charging fares by taxi meters and not GPS.
As said, this is the violation of the Motor Vehicles Act and the distance measured through GPS are often inaccurate.
At present, Cab aggregators charge fares on the basis of distance travelled and the ride time. GPS, or global positioning system, measurements on phones are arrived at through a combination of data from satellites, cell sites and WiFi.
“We keep getting complaints of inaccuracies in the fare mechanism of these cab aggregators,” said an official.
Earlier this week, black-and-yellow cabs and auto-rickshaws had also called for a three-day-long strike to protest against Ola and Uber, significantly affecting the daily commute in the capital city. This has forced the government to draw comprehensive guidelines to bring all under one ambit.
Transport ministry officials also recently held meetings with senior executives of Ola and Uber separately. Minister for Road Transport and Highways and Shipping, Nitin Gadkari said the legislation would soon be introduced to cover such companies, which have emerged as a threat to the black-and-yellow cabs and auto-rickshaws.
The government has formed a committee under Roads Secretary Sanjay Mitra to draw up guidelines for taxi aggregators and has also received inputs for these from the states. The ministry has also asked states to set an upper fare limit, which is expected to provide policy clarity to these rapidly expanding companies.
The state governments have been asked to not to fully regulate pricing but set the maximum fare aggregators can charge. Under this cap, aggregators are free to price services, ensuring that the customer is not denied the benefit of competition.
It is strange to see that the technology (GPS) that is being utilised by the entire world to measure distances and calculate fares has suddenly become inappropriate in India.
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Government of India, in tweet has declined any such report:
With reference to media reports on taxi aggregators being asked to use taxi meters – no such proposal is being considered by the Ministry.
— MORTHINDIA (@MORTHIndia) July 30, 2016