Ola, Uber rides likely to get cheaper as government caps surge fares

The government on November 27 capped the “surge price” asked by cab aggregators such as Ola and Uber in times of high demand to 1.5 times the base fare.

It also restricted the discount offered by them to 50 percent of the base fare to limit fare volatility.

In states where the taxi fare has not been determined by the local government, Rs 25/30 shall be the base fare for regulation. Similar fixation shall be done by the state government for other vehicles integrated with aggregators.

Like cabs, some companies also offer bike rides. The base fare varies from state to state. These norms have been laid out in the 26-page Motor Vehicle Aggregator Guidelines issued by the government on November 27 that seek to define and regulate cab aggregators in the country.

In what may cheer drivers who have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, the government has mandated they get at least 80 percent of the income earned from a ride, with the remaining going into the kitty of the aggregator.

The ride-hailing firms will have to give health insurance of Rs 5 lakh to their drivers and term insurance of Rs 10 lakh, with the amount going up 5 percent every year.

Drivers, too, will have to follow some norms. No driver will log out of the system for more than 12 hours and a 10- hour break is a must after clocking 12 hours.

Aggregators will have to ensure that drivers working for more than one company do not exceed the 12-hour workday. They have been asked to come up with a mechanism on their apps to monitor the hours put in by drivers to ensure their safety and that of the passengers.

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