Rakesh Agarwal, CEO of Magic Sewa, an online aggregator of cabs in Delhi-NCR, told MediaNama in a phone conversation that app-based taxi fares were dropping (more in point 1), the number of vehicles on the road was increasing, but demand was not increasing in that proportion. Despite this, surge pricing was being used frequently, with a higher margin and proportion, Agarwal added. This led Agarwal to file a petition against app based cab aggregators which were violating the Section 67 of the Motor Vehicles Act (MVA), 1988, by implementing surge pricing. The Delhi High Court's hearing (Case number W.P.(C) 3114/2016) is awaited. MediaNama has a copy of the petition which states that the 'unlawful practices (surge pricing etc.)' adversely affected the livelihood of Magic Sewa employees and that the company’s survival was at stake. The petition adds that a Magic Sewa employee also lodged 3 complaints against the aggregators for overcharging, but ‘no fruitful action has been taken’. Interestingly, instead of an online vs offline fight, this time an online cab aggregator has filed a petition against its peers. Why did Magic Sewa file the petition? 1. Advertised prices cheap: Agarwal says companies were advertising fares of Rs 5-6/km, which were previously Rs 8 and 10/km, but despite adding more cabs and surge pricing to their mechanisms, app based aggregators were struggling with demand, and making users pay huge amounts for a cab ride. He said that users had ended up paying anywhere between the advertised Rs 5/km to Rs 38/km using ‘unlicensed taxi aggregators’ services. 2.…
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