Maharashtra Govt. has finally unveiled the ‘City Taxi Scheme’, which covers auto rickshaws, kaali-peeli taxis, app-based cab providers and all forms of cabs running in Maharashtra cities. And, there is some major shocks which can end the era of cheap, discounted cab rides in the state.
Because minimum fares of all taxis would be now fixed by the Govt.
Level Playing Field For All Taxis in Maharashtra
Just like everywhere else in India, drivers of auto-rickshaws, kaali-peeli cabs and other forms of taxis in Maharashtra were demanding regulations pertaining to app-based cabs. They felt that their aggressive pricing strategy, which sometimes allowed users to hail a sedan at lesser price than an auto, is killing their businesses.
We had reported how the resistance against app-based cabs is spreading to all corners of the country.
Hence, in order to create a ‘level-playing’ field for all cabs and taxis, Maharashtra Govt. officially unveiled the ‘City Taxi Scheme’ last week in Mumbai. One of the most prominent announcements made in this scheme is that minimum fares would be finalised and fixed by the State Govt.
This minimum fare would be decided by Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis, after a high-level team of urban transportation experts study the landscape, and recommend minimum fares which is feasible for all.
It may take up to 3 months to finalise the minimum fares, and after that, the era of cheap, discounted app-based cab rides would be officially over.
Cab Aggregators’ Worst Fear Comes True
After the ‘City Taxi Scheme’ was unveiled, and the rumours of fixed minimum fares for all taxis was confirmed, leading cab aggregators have expressed their fears, and have said that the cab fares would definitely increase now.
An unnamed official from one such cab aggregator said, “If the government fixes a higher minimum fare, commuters will end up paying more for rides and this could also affect the cab business,”
Interestingly, traditional cab providers like Meru Cabs have welcomed this step, and have also requested the Govt. to put a curb on surge pricing. Meru Cab CEO Nilesh Sangoi said, “We don’t favour surge prices which are three to four times the minimum fare. At the same time, we are also opposing predatory pricing and want the minimum fare, which is as low as Rs 6, to be raised,”
In their draft for regulating app-based cabs, Maharashtra Govt. had recommended several initiates, out of which, minimum fares was one of them.
We will keep you updated as we receive more information about this news.