We missed this earlier.

Licensed cab operators in Maharashtra must have vehicles running on clean fuel (unleaded petrol, CNG, Hybrid or electrical power), have separate colour scheme for vehicles and fares prescribed by the government, the state’s draft City Taxi Rules say. The rules also say that cabs cannot accept street hails and that vehicles should also have a physical register for feedback. Complete rules can be found here (pdf).

The rules state that vehicles operating under All India Tourist Permits (AITP) can only be offered for hire to tourists on time or point to point basis within and outside the state, regulated by the Central Motor Vehicle Rules, which don’t have regulation on fuel type and fare. According to the government, since currently, app based taxis are offering transport services, they ‘blur the distinction between street hail and pre booked for hire taxis.’

Maharashtra City Taxi Rules, 2016 will be proposed for Section 74, sub-section (1) of section  89, section 93, sub-section (1) of section 95 and clause (xxviii) of sub-section (2) of section 96 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (59 of 1988) applicable for the Mumbai Metropolitan Region and may be extended to other areas.

Here’s a lowdown of the most important rules in the draft:

Operational infrastructure:
– Maintain a fleet of of various types of taxis owned or taken through agreement with taxi permit holders.
Each taxi to have an engine capacity of not less than 980 CC with seating capacity not exceeding 7 including driver, provided at least half of the total taxis be of engine capacity 1400 CC or more.
– Open or non hard type fiber top vehicles not allowed.
– Each vehicle should have a working temperature controlled device.
– Taxis should run on clean fuel i.e. unleaded petrol or CNG or LPG or hybrid or electrical power, should meet emission standards. Should be met within 1 year of rules being released.
– ‘GPS/GPRS based tracking device’ showing path travelled and total distance covered. Device should be in constant communication with the control room. Non-working GPS/GPRS should be recorded along with how much time it was not functional for.
– Commercial insurance
– Separate colour scheme for taxis under this permit, black and yellow taxis will continue with their colour scheme.
Taxis allowed to carry ads.
– Vehicles to have mobile radio, web or app platform for 2 way communication.

Licensee’s profile:
– Licensee shall maintain call centre or operate through an authorised call centre or web portal or app.
– Should have a web portal with all details of its ownership, registered address, services offered, fare structure, insurance liabilities, control room details, name and contact details of grievance officer.

Driver’s profile:
Should have a valid commercial license and PSV Badge.
– Driver should know the roads and routes of areas of operation to not inconvenience passengers.
– Driver to have uniform approved by the government or as per company’s design.
Cannot have a criminal record. Should not have been convicted or driving under influence or been recognised as convicted of cognisable offences including fraud, sexual offence, use of a motor vehicle to commit cognisable offence, crime of property dispute/theft, violence or acts of terror in the last 7 years.
– Licensee to hire as many women drivers as possible.
– Licensee will have driver trainings at least once a year.
Drivers cannot pick up street hail passengers.
– Owner of vehicle can convert vehicle to other permits including private category vehicle.
Black and yellow taxis can be attached to any license under these rules and are free to operate under a different license (its original permit) 1 month after operating on the changed license.

Application for grant or renewal of licence:
– Application of license will cost Rs 100,000
– License will be valid for 5 years from date of grant, depending on satisfactory performance
– Can be renewed after 4.5 years but not less than 3 months before license expiry date
– 25% vehicles to be inducted at the time of grant of license, 50% within 3 months after grant of license, 75% within 6 months and 100% within 9 months.
– Not sticking to this timeline will have a penalty of Rs 25,000 per month for 6 months after which the RTO can revoke the license and forfeit the bank guarantee
– License can be cancelled if any of the terms are not met and/or employee of licensee or driver is guilty of misbehaviour or misconduct with passenger

License fees:
– Taxis with engine capacity less than 1400 CC: Rs 25,000
– Taxis with engine capacity more than 1400 CC: Rs 261,000
– Security deposit bank guarantee of Rs 50 lakh per 1,000 vehicles

– Fares should prescribe to minimum and maximum fare limits by the government and vehicle engine capacity should not exceed 2,000 CC.

Other rules:
– Vehicles to have a first aid box.
Vehicles can’t be older than 20 years and need to be replaced once they hit 20.
– Helpline numbers of RTO, police and women’s helpline need to be displayed inside the vehicle.
– Driver details with photo, license number, PSV badge number, registration mark etc to be displayed.
– No tinted glass, curtains or films on the vehicles.
– Feedback register for the passenger.
– Vehicles with AITP permits cannot operate under these rules. AITP permits can be converted to MCTR, 2016 if an app is provided as a sub-rule, 3 months from when the rules are released.
– A bill should be generated at the end of every journey and handed to passenger. Details of the bill include distance travelled, unit rate and taxes. E-bills are allowed as well. Bill copies need to be maintained electronically or in physical form for 3 months or longer.
– Driver working hours limited to Motor Transport Workers Act, 1961 (27 of 1961).
– Licensee to offer services 24/7.
Vehicle to ply only in geographical limits of the transport organisation.
– Realtime location sharing with 5 people in their safety network and be able to contact local police in case of an emergency.
– Passengers should have an option to submit grievances through app, web or service phone number and the grievance should be resolved in 15 days.
– License holder should inform the authority when they shift offices, keep premises, records and registers available for inspection at all times, cooperate with the authorities with respect to information, display license prominently in office, maintain serially numbered feedback register in all vehicles.
– License cannot be transferred without prior permission.
– Licensee can surrender license by giving a notice of 3 months, failing which the license can be cancelled and bank guarantee forfeited.
– On surrendering or cancellation of license, permit holders can operate under App Based City Taxi permit attached to other licensees or convert it to other permits.
– Owner of vehicle can convert vehicle to other permits including private category vehicle.
Black and yellow taxis can be attached to any license under these rules and are free to operate under a different license (its original permit) 1 month after operating on the changed license.

Image credit: Damian Moore under CC BY SA 2.0