The Union ministry’s guidelines would fulfil the long-felt demand of the passengers to regulate the cab aggregators who are often accused of hiking charges by two to three times during peak hours.
“The aggregator shall be permitted to charge a fare 50 per cent 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,” said the Motor Vehicle Aggregators Guidelines, 2020 issued by the Ministry.
The driver of a vehicle integrated with the aggregator should receive at least 80 per cent of the fare applicable on each ride and the remaining charges for each ride should be received by the aggregator. The states could fix the base fare for the taxis and if not an amount of Rs 25/30 should be the base fare for fare regulation, the guidelines said.
The Ministry also allowed pooling services by private car owners across all states to tackle pollution and de-congest metros. The option of ‘aggregation of non-transport by aggregators’ or carpooling by private vehicles 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. In such a shared mobility arrangement, a maximum of four ride-sharing intra-city trips per day and a maximum of 2 ride-sharing inter-city trips per week will be permitted for each vehicle with the driver, integrated with the aggregator.
As far as the welfare of the drivers are concerned, the guidelines have asked the aggregator to ensure that every driver is provided with a health insurance integrated with the aggregator for an amount not less than Rs 5 lakh with the base year 2020-21 and increased by 5 per cent each year. Additionally, a term insurance of Rs 10 lakh must also be provided to each driver. The aggregator will also need to conduct refresher training programmes for the drivers once a year.