Mumbai: Govt to soon launch aggregated Taxi app, revised taxi scheme

To bring all taxis (Ola, Uber and Kaali Peeli taxi) services under one law, Government had intiated ‘City Taxi Scheme 2016’. Suggestions for the City Taxi Scheme 2016, which seek to regulate the operation of various cab services including app-based ones, has been submitted to the state government, by the transport department.

This scheme is being implemented through the process and it will get the approval soon, according to information given by transport department.

Mobile app-based taxi and the black-yellow taxi service difference between the prices have become blurred. To sort out the overall difference between the private and the black-yellow cabs and bring them under one law, the government took the decision to make ‘City Taxi Scheme 2016’. Under this scheme, all taxi services will come under one roof of law. This step has been taken for them is important for the safety of passengers, and especially women passengers. For all this a draft plan was prepared under the name of Maharashtra City Taxi, for which suggestions were invited from Taxi Association, travellers, local people by the Department of Transport.

After making the draft plan, it was handed over to the government. Nearly 1,500 objections and suggestions were presented to the Government. All the necessary step for this Taxi scheme needs to be approved by the government. In coming 15 days this taxi scheme can get green signal.

The revised taxi scheme:

What’s new?

As per the new draft, a licencing authority will be formulated to determine the fare. The decision has been taken to regulate surge pricing, in which the fare of app-based taxis skyrockets if the demand for such cabs increases. In 2015 draft, the government had allowed call centre-based fleet taxis, which ply under Fleet Taxi Scheme 2007 and Phone Fleet Taxi Scheme 2010, to migrate to app-based services. In the new draft, however, it also decided to give permit to black-and-yellow cabs to do the same, but with certain conditions.

It will be mandatory for all the cab aggregators to have 50% of their cab fleet comprising vehicles with 1400 cc capacity engines. Also, vehicle plying on cleaner fuels like CNG, LPG, electricity and unleaded petrol could also operate under the revised scheme.

The new draft states: “App-based City Taxi Permit issued under section 74 of Motor Vehicle Act 1988 would be necessary for every app-based taxi.” The permit will come with price tags. Surprisingly, for taxis below 1400 cc, it will cost Rs 25,000, and for vehicles above 1400 cc it will cost Rs 2.61 lakh.

Barring operators from installing tinted windows or curtains, the transport department has decided to issue a colour code and passenger feedback register mandatory for service providers. Existing taxis, with tourist taxi permits, will be get three month to migrate to new scheme.

The permit issued by the licensing authority shall be displayed at a prominent place in the vehicle.

The transport department has also decided to do away with physical panic buttons in the new taxis, allowing mobile-based panic buttons through which passengers would be able to send text messages to five people in case of an emergency. As per the revised scheme, aggregators will have to undertake refresher course for drivers and have to appoint women drivers as well. Also, annual refresher course would be mandatory for every taxi driver operating under the scheme.

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal