Jan 11, 2018 04:57 PM IST | Source:

Brace for costly Uber & Ola rides as K'taka ups base taxi fares

The government of Karnataka on Wednesday issued a notification prescribing the minimum and maximum fare for taxis, including for Uber and Ola.

Durba Ghosh

Uber and Ola riders in Bangalore could now be shelling out a higher base fare, anywhere between Rs 44 and Rs 80, depending on the type and make of the vehicle booked.

The state government has revised taxi fares upwards from the previous slab of Rs 19.5 per kilometre for AC sedans and Rs 14.5 per kilometre for hatchbacks.

The government of Karnataka on Wednesday issued a notification prescribing the minimum and maximum fare for taxis, including for Uber and Ola.

The fare categories have been split in four, taking into consideration the cost of the vehicle.

As per the new fares that came into effect immediately, hiring a small car costing below Rs 5 lakh will cost Rs 44 for the first four kilometres.

For subsequent kilometres, the aggregators can charge a minimum fare of Rs 12 and a maximum of Rs 24.

The notification also prescribed a fixed charge for waiting - free for the first 20 minutes, and Rs 10 for every 15 minutes thereafter.

Cars costing between Rs 5 and 10 lakh will attract a charge of Rs 52 for first four kilometres, with the same slab of dynamic pricing as in small car category.

For a car costing more than Rs 10 lakh and within Rs 16 lakh, the base fare for first four kilometres is set at Rs 68. Thereafter a maximum of Rs 34 per km and minimum of Rs 16 per can be charged.

Fares in luxury cars, costing over Rs 16 lakh will cost Rs 80 for the first four kilometres, thereafter maximum of Rs 45 per km and a minimum of Rs 20 will be applicable.

Until now, cab aggregators like Ola and Uber were free to surge prices according to their internal calculation of peak demand time.

The state had opposed the move. It had banned surge pricing by cab aggregators last year.

Cab aggregators had strongly protested against it, saying dynamic pricing is integral to them and helped in regulating demand and supply in peak times.

“We welcome the efforts taken by the Government of Karnataka to revise the existing fare structure, keeping in mind the interest of hundreds of thousands of driver partners. The revision will help improve their earning potential and create sustainable livelihood opportunities,” Christian Freese, GM - South for Uber India, said.

The new pricing structure does address this demand, allowing cab aggregators to legally exercise dynamic pricing with defined maximum and minimum fare cap.

However, the range prescribed for surge pricing is far lower than the 3x, 4x pricing levied by Uber and Ola in peak times. The rules essentially restrict their ability to maneuver with prices.

“While it is a step in the right direction, we believe dynamic pricing will help increase reliability for riders and improve asset utilization for driver partners. We remain committed to engaging and working with the relevant authorities to enable regulations that can enhance the future of urban mobility in the state,” Freese added. Ola declined to comment on the issue.
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