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“City Taxi Scheme” By Delhi Govt May Give Lifeline To Ola, Uber
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All app-based taxi services to come under the scheme minus Black & Yellow cabs and those having All India Tourist Permit reports Ashish Sinha
May be the Delhi Government will get third time lucky with its constant tune up of policy framework for city taxi services.
After having launched two unsuccessful Cab schemes – Radio Taxi Scheme (2006, amended in December 2014) and Economy Taxi Scheme (2010) – the Delhi Government has announced a new “City Taxi Scheme” for all App (mobile application) based taxi companies including Ola and Uber.
A detailed policy framework for the new scheme is still awaited, here are the salient features of City Taxi Scheme:
Ø All App-based taxi services to come under this one scheme
Ø Affordability is centre to City Taxi Scheme
Ø The scheme to include small cars like Reva and Nano
Ø Permits to be issued to vehicles having engine capacity of 600cc- 749cc too
Ø Such Taxis to charge Rs10 per km
Ø There will be a cap of 2,500 taxis per operator
Ø Mandatory panic buttons and hooters inside all taxies
Ø Operators to follow government-decided fare structure
Ø Cab companies like Ola, Uber, could float subsidiary firms to align with 2,500 taxies per operator
The City Taxi Scheme, experts say, may just provide a lifeline to much discussed App-based cab firms like Ola and Uber who otherwise are staring at an uncertain future because on January 1, the Delhi government had banned the operation of app-based cab services till they complied with the guidelines of the Radio Taxi Scheme of 2006, amended on December 26, 2014. The Delhi HC has once again sought status report from Delhi Police and the state government on why Ola and Uber continue to operate in Delhi despite the ban.
The ban imposed by the Delhi Government on January 1, 2015 was upheld by the Delhi High Court earlier this month when it had dismissed a petition filed by Ola who had challenged the ban. In its August 11 order, the Delhi High Court had made it clear that all diesel taxis were barred from making point-to-point metered rides within the capital including the diesel cabs with DLY numbers (registered as tourist vehicles). However, vehicles heading to Gurgaon or Noida would not be prosecuted as the order is applicable only to Delhi.
“The new proposal of the Delhi Government allows all cab services to come under a legal framework. It looks like cab services like Ola, Uber, Taxi For Sure, others have limited options,” said a senior executive in a leading consultancy firm looking after the transportation sector.
According to Delhi Government’s transport minister Gopal Rai, the older version of the ‘radio taxi’ scheme – under license of which Uber had resumed operations in January – will be merged with the new scheme.
“The rules this time have been fine-tuned and improved upon for all taxi service providers. The scheme should be operational soon,” a senior official said.