Upto Rs 100 Penalty For Uber, Ola If Driver Cancels Ride In This State; Surge Limited To 50%

The customer can also be fined if they cancel the ride before the “wait time”.

West Bengal has brought in strict regulations for cab aggregator apps such as Uber and Ola.

Valid Reasons Required For Cancellation

Now, cab drivers associated with such apps will be fined Rs 100 if they cancel a trip without valid reasons.

Fares also will not be allowed to surge more than 50% of Kolkata’s base air-conditioned taxis’ rates.

These regulations are based on the Centre’s Motor Vehicles Aggregators Guidelines, 2020 which is now being implemented.

How It Will Work

A driver will be penalised 10% of the fare (maximum Rs 100) if they accept a ride but cancel it arbitrarily.

The customer will be able to view this through the app.

The penalised amount will be credited to the customer’s account which they can use to pay for future rides.

Drivers may cancel trips for only valid reasons such as medical emergencies and car breakdowns.

However, even when such reasons are cited, the driver will not be assigned another ride for the next six hours.

Customers Can Also Be Punished

The customer can also be fined if they cancel the ride before the “wait time”.

In such cases they will be fined 10%, not exceeding Rs 100, which is to be shared equally between the driver and the aggregator.

The “Wait time” has not yet been clarified.

It is typically an indication of the time it would take for the cab to reach the customer’s location.

Surge Pricing Norms

Surge pricing rules have also been introduced. 

Presently, Kolkata’s cabs charge Rs 30 as the minimum fare for the first 2 kms after which it would cost Rs 3 for every subsequent 200 metres.

AC cabs charge a flat 25% more than this.

The state will impose a 2% surcharge over this fare for traffic-related measures and driver welfare schemes, however this hasn’t yet been introduced.

Passenger Safety Measures

Clauses have also been added with regards to passenger safety.

Drivers must take the shortest route, and a control room should warn them if they deviate from it.

The aggregators will be required to ensure that the driver’s identity matches what is provided on the app.

In shared or pooled rides, women should have the option to ride only with women.

Each cab will have to clearly display numbers of helplines and call centres.

Trade Union Unhappy

Representatives of Ola and Uber said that they will read the notification carefully and that they will follow the rules. 

Riders have also welcomed the new rules. 

However, the West Bengal Online Cab Operators’ Guild were unhappy and said that they should’ve been consulted as stakeholders.

They said that they could have made the bill “even more effective” had their inputs been taken.

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