AAP govt to ban surge pricing by app-based cabs permanently, hints Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal

The ban on surge pricing by app-based cab services will be made permanent, the Delhi government announced on Weednesday.

AAP govt to ban surge pricing by app-based cabs permanently, hints Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal
Pic for representational purpose

Delhi: The ban on surge pricing by app-based cab services will be made permanent, the Delhi government announced on Wednesday.

The ban was introduced for the ongoing phase of the odd-even scheme.

The AAP government also said that app-based taxi aggregators will have to charge fares being fixed under a new policy.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal termed surge pricing as 'daylight robbery' and had tweeted the following:

Under surge pricing, app-based taxi service providers like Ola and Uber hike the rates when demand outstrips supply.

"Yes. We will do it," Kejriwal had tweeted replying to a suggestion on why government was not continuing with ban on surge pricing permanently.

In its reaction, leading taxi aggregator Uber criticised the move, saying without surge pricing, there would be no cars available when people need hem.

"Higher prices are required in order to get cars on the road and keep them on the road during the busiest times. This maximises the number of trips and minimises the number of people stranded. The drivers have other options as well. In short, without surge pricing, there would be no car available when people need it," the Uber said in a statement, as per PTI.

The US-based company said 92 percent of the trips in Delhi happened on regular fares, even during the first phase of odd-even scheme.

Separately, Transport Minister Gopal Rai said a policy will be introduced soon under which app-based taxi companies will have to charge fares fixed by the transport department.

"The policy will be exclusively for all the app-based taxis giving their services in the national capital. We will fix fares for them as we have done in the case of radio, economy cabs and black and yellow taxis. All app-based taxi services will be regulated," Rai said.

The government move comes after it received several complaints of surge pricing by Ola, Uber and other companies since the second phase of odd-even scheme came into force.

A senior official said several app-based cab companies, including Ola and Uber, are not registered with the Delhi government's transport department, but still they are running their taxis in the capital. Under new policy, these companies will have to seek licence to operate their taxis.

Another official said as most app-based taxi service providers including Ola and Uber, are not registered with transport department, government cannot "rein in" them.

"The overcharging violations do not apply on app-based taxi services as they are not registered with government.

"However, government will ensure that these operators do not charge exorbitant fares even after the second phase of odd-even scheme," he said.

The second phase of the odd-even scheme was rolled out on April 15 and will continue till April 30.

(With Agency inputs)

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