Revised fares confuse offline taxi operators

The Transport Department's notification revising taxi fares has led to confusion.

While offline taxi operators as terming the fare chart impractical, app-based cab aggregators are taking their time to make the changes.

Fixing a minimum and maximum limits for fares, the notification provides a bandwidth for charging different rates.

However, traditional taxi operators where bookings are not done through an app are questioning its practicality.

Hamid Akmar Ali of city taxi union said it was impossible for offline operators to increase and decrease fares as per demand and supply ratio.

"We had requested the officials to increase the ceiling in the previous notification which had set Rs 14.50 for non-AC (hatchback) and Rs 19.50 for AC cabs (sedans) as maximum fares. We can't use the bandwidth provided in the new notification," said Ali.

Muniraju, who drives airport taxi, said demanding additional fare will attract commuters' ire.

"People will quarrel with us if we ask different fares. Gradually, they will all switch over to Ola and Uber. The latest notification will phase out the conventional cabs and help big companies to get bigger," he said.

Transport Commissioner B Dayananda said they were aware of the problem.

"We will issue a clarification to enable offline operators to implement the new fare chart. The issue will be sorted out soon," he said.

As of Friday evening, app-based cab aggregators were yet to implement the new fares. Both Ola and Uber charged customers for per minute waiting time and ride time, which is not allowed as per the new rules.

Officials in the transport department said though the revised fares should come into effect from the date of publication of the notification, they will allow two or three more days for the aggregators to implement it.

A spokesperson for Uber said implementing the new fare chart involves making several changes to the backend.

"The new fares will come into effect at the earliest," she said. DH could not obtain a response from Ola despite several attempts.

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