Fresh guidelines have been released by the Union Road Transport and Highway Ministry to govern cab aggregators such as Ola and Uber and also to put a cap on surge pricing, meeting the frequent demands of users of all such mobility aggregators.
According to the rules, the driver of a vehicle attached to an aggregator shall receive at least 80% of the fare available for each journey and the aggregator shall receive the remaining fee for each journey. The guidelines further added that a fare 50 percent lower than the base fare and a maximum surge price of 1.5X of the base fare will be allowed to be paid by the aggregator.
It is expected that the new guidelines will address daily problems faced by riders who have complained about higher surge rates and lack of enforcement for cab aggregators.
A charge of 10 percent of the total fare not exceeding Rs 100 was set for both riders and drivers in the event of a cancellation of a trip when a cancellation is made without a legitimate reason as stated by the aggregator on its website and the app.
In its press release, the key objective of the new guidelines is to govern shared mobility and reduce traffic congestion and pollution, as well as to provide ease of doing business, consumer safety, and driver welfare, the ministry said.
It should be noted that the Ministry of Transport has already amended the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 by the Motor Vehicles Amendment Act, 2019 to include the term ‘aggregator’ definition. The amended act describes aggregators as digital intermediaries between passengers and transportation drivers or as marketplaces.
New regulation for a ride-sharing model has also been published by the Ministry, in which a maximum of four ride-sharing intra-city trips per day and a maximum of 2 ride-sharing inter-city trips per week are approved for a vehicle attached to an aggregator.
Since the Covid-19 pandemic struck India, Ola and Uber’s ridesharing and carpooling models have been seriously impacted.
Aggregators are also guided to have the data generated on their app stored on a server in India to ensure data localization. Following the new Guideline, the data stored shall be stored for a minimum duration of 3 months and a maximum period of 24 months from the date on which such data is produced and shall be made available to the State Government per due process of law.