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Is Karnataka’s Cab Aggregator Policy Striking a Fair Balance? Exploring the impact on drivers and consumers

We take a look at how both uniform fare and dynamic pricing methods affect rights of the drivers and how they impact consumers.

In February, Karnataka’s transport department announced uniform fares for cab aggregators like Ola, Uber, etc. that divide the cab rides into three categories based on the vehicle’s price. The department’s announcement follows a proposal submitted by the Transport and Road Safety Commissioner in December, 2023 to fix the fares of city taxis and various types of taxis operating under the aggregator rules in a single model. Does the move take us back to the pre-Ola and Uber era by removing surge pricing? How does each of these pricing methods affect rights of the drivers and how do they impact consumers?

In response, the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), a not-for-profit representing the digital services industry, wrote to Ramalinga Reddy, Karnataka Transport Minister requesting the department to “reconsider and revise” the new cab fare structure that eliminates dynamic pricing in the cab aggregator ecosystem. The letter warned that the introduction of flat fares for aggregator and regular cabs alike will have “a chilling impact on Karnataka’s mobility ecosystem.”

In this video, MediaNama Founder-Editor Nikhil Pahwa explains the dynamics of pricing methods in the transport sector and shares his perspectives on Karnataka’s new policy.

Watch the full video here:

 

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Written By

Curious about the intersection of technology with education, caste and welfare rights. For story tips, please feel free to reach out at sarasvati@medianama.com

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