Norms to regulate app-based taxis to be ready in 10 days

Ola, Uber will be treated like regular operators: Transport dept

Norms to regulate app-based taxis to be ready in 10 days

The draft guidelines to regulate app-based cab services such as Ola and Uber in Karnataka will be ready in 10 days and will be adopted accordingly, the Transport Department has said.

That will mean cab aggregators — as Uber, Ola and TaxiForSure call themselves — will have to follow the same rules prescribed for regular taxi operators. Once they register with the Transport Department, they must comply with the rules on drivers’ background verification, instal panic buttons and Global Positioning System (GPS) in cabs, follow government-regulated fares and provide public service badges to drivers.

The cab aggregators have been at loggerheads with the department for almost a year now. While the department insists they register with it under the City Taxi scheme, the cab aggregators assert they are just “technology providers” facilitating commuters and taxis to come together on a technology-based platform, and should not be treated as regular taxi operators.

Earlier this week, the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways finally clarified that app-based taxi services can no longer claim to be just technology providers and must fall under the same category as other taxi operators.

It has also prepared model guidelines in this regard and is sending them to all states seeking their suggestions and objections.

Earlier this year, the Union government had issued a directive permitting states to draft their own policy for regulating cab aggregators.

Karnataka is in the process of preparing its own guidelines for such services, which will be ready in the next ten days and adopted accordingly, Transport Commissioner Rame Gowda told Deccan Herald.

“We are already taking action against these cab services with regard to arbitrary fares, permit violations and not verifying drivers’ background,” he said. Karnataka would formulate its policy for cab aggregators once it receives advisory guidelines from the Union government, he added.

It was the Delhi rape in December 2014 by an Uber cab driver that exposed the lacunae in the operations of app-based cabs and the lack of government control over them.
 

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