India sets rules for commissions, surge pricing for Uber and Ola

29 Novembre, 2020, 08:26 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Indian government issues fresh guidelines for cab aggregators like Uber, Ola putting a cap on surge pricing

The ministry issued the guidelines under the part of Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019, that states take into account before issuing a license to state aggregators.

The government has defined the meaning of aggregator, through Motor Vehicle aggregator guidelines, as digital mediators or marketplaces for passengers to connect with a driver for the intent of transportation.

The Union road transport ministry Thursday issued the Motor Vehicle Aggregator guidelines 2020, which mandates that aggregators shall be permitted to charge a maximum surge price of 1.5 times the base city taxi fare fixed by respective state governments.

Ride-hailing aggregators such as Ola and Uber have been brought under the Centre's regulation, implying greater scrutiny and stringent penalties for any non-compliance related to passenger fare and labour rules like working hours of drivers.

Travel aggregators may provide pooling facilities to the riders whose details and KYC are available and who shall be travelling along the same route but with varied stoppages from one point to another under a virtual contract through the app, the guidelines said.

In states where the city taxi fare has not been determined by the state government, an amount of Rs 25/30 shall be the base fare for the goal of fare regulation, the guidelines said.

"Female passengers seeking to avail ride pooling shall also be provided the option to pool only with other female passengers", the guidelines said. On cancellation of rides, by either a driver or a rider, when it is made without valid reason, a penalty of 10% of the total fare not exceeding Rs 100 shall be imposed.

The final guidelines, which are to be considered by the state governments when issuing licences to aggregators, say drivers should receive 80 percent of the ride fare with the taxi companies receiving the remaining 20 percent.

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Additionally, the state government may by way of a notification direct 2% over and above the fare towards the state exchequer. A similar charge will be levied if the rider cancels the trip, which will be split between the driver and the aggregator.

It will also ensure a term insurance for each driver integrated with the aggregator for an amount not less than Rs 10 lakh with base year 2020-21 and increase by 5 per cent each Year. They must ensure that a driver is not logged in for 12 hours on a given day. There has to be a mandatory 10-hour break after working for 12 hours.

The new guidelines also require data generated on ride-hailing apps to be stored on servers in India for a minimum of 3 months and a maximum of 24months.

The data will also have to be made accessible to the Indian government as per law but customers data will not be shared without the consent of the user. Cab aggregators are also required to establish a control room with round-the-clock operations.

Meanwhile, the government has also opened up an avenue for the aggregators by allowing non-transport vehicle pooling.

A limit of four ride-sharing intra-city stumbles on a scheduled day and a limit of 2 ride-sharing between city trips every week will be allowed for every vehicle with the driver, coordinated with the aggregator, the rules state.

States can suspend the aggregator's licence if there is "systemic failure" to ensure the safety of the rider and driver, repeated financial inconsistencies on fares, the unjustified imposition of surge pricing and "severity of financial swindling", among others.

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