Uber-like services set to return

The Delhi government on Monday announced revised rules for operating radio taxis, bringing aggregators like Uber into the fold of the law.

Now cab aggregators like Uber can apply for a licence, provided they comply with guidelines for their operation, which include mandatory installation of GPS devices, a panic button and providing full database of their drivers to Delhi Police.

According to the modified Radio Taxi Scheme, 2006, providers of radio taxi services will have to either maintain a call centre or operate through an authorised call centre or website.

The Delhi Transport Department had banned all internet-based taxi firms from operating in the capital after a 26-year-old woman was raped by a man driving for US-based Uber, which operates through mobile application.

In the past
For over a year, internet-based taxi firms were operating outside the licence regime introduced in 2006 for radio taxi services.

Several of the rules prescribed for radio taxi services do not apply to these technology-driven firms, which took cab bookings without actually having any drivers on their rolls, unlike radio taxi operators, which run their own vehicles.

The modifications in the law come as an attempt to fix the loopholes in cab operations, which became apparent after the recent rape case.

The modified law says that licensee shall maintain a minimum fleet of 200 radio taxis either owned or through an agreement with individual taxi permit holders, and shall start the service with a minimum fleet of 50 radio taxis within one month of grant of license.

“The radio taxi should be fitted with GPS- and GPRS-based tracking device, printer and a display panel showing the path traversed and total distance covered,” the Transport Department said in a statement.

Only six companies have licence for operating radio taxi services in Delhi as of now.

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