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Delhi Govt wants physical meters for Ola, Uber & others: report

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The Delhi Government will make physical meters in the cab of online cab aggregators compulsory, despite the compulsory GPS installation, reports Economic Times. This is under a cab aggregators’ policy which the government is coming up with and will be presented to the public for consultation before it is approved by Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung.

The ET report states that the policy will be public in a couple of days. The policy also states that cab service providers will need to follow government set fares for cab rides. We’ve written to Ola and Uber for comments and will update this when we hear from them.

If setting a physical digital meter in the cab is indeed in the Delhi Government’s policy, we think that the move is completely unnecessary, given that the app is already doing the meter’s job of displaying fares, showing a route and and providing an electronic receipt on the cab ride. Not only will aggregators have to spend extra money on getting physical meters, the redundancy factor will be high on this one. This also feeds fuel to the fire of India ranking 134th out of 189 countries on the Ease of Doing Business in the world.

A history of bad decisions:

– In April, the Karnataka government seized over 30 cars from Ola and Uber for charging their users over the government decided rate of Rs 19.5/km. The same month, it banned surge pricing as a part of its rules for online cab aggregators in the state.

– In the same month, the Delhi government said that it would take “strict action, including cancellation of permit and impounding vehicles” against taxis which charged over the government prescribed rates. This was in a response to the Delhi Autorickshaw Sangh and Delhi Pradesh Taxi Union, which called off their strikes against online cab aggregators.

– The same month, online cab aggregator Magic Sewa filed a petition in the Delhi High Court against surge pricing.

Following both these incidents, Ola and Uber suspended peak and surge pricing in Delhi NCR. And in June, Ola allegedly got an aggregator cab operating license in Karnataka.

– In May, Karnataka’s transport department ordered Uber and Ola to suspend operations in the state since they had not acquired licenses to run cab services, and seized 60 vehicles belonging to both the companies. In the same month, Uber said that it would charge only government fixed rates in Delhi. In June, a cab drivers’ union asked both Ola and Uber to help them get their vehicles back.

– In August 2015, Uber said that its cabs were being damaged, drivers assaulted and mobile phones being taken away by groups of people who wanted to shut down aggregator services in Pune and Mumbai.

– In June 2015, Mumbai taxi drivers and auto rickshaws went on strike protesting against app based cab operators.

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Our policy, government and cab aggregators coverage.

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