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Soon, a central policy for taxi ops

August 28, 2016 06:10 AM
COURSTEY Aug 28 2016 : The Times of India (Ahmedabad)
Soon, a central policy for taxi ops
Dipak Dash
New Delhi

The Central government will come out with a policy on taxi operators, including aggregators such as Uber and Ola, in the next two months. This is likely to put an end to several controversies as it will detail the fare fixation mechanism and method to calculate the distance travelled.
Following a Delhi high court direction earlier this month, the road transport ministry has reconstituted a panel that will submit the draft scheme for regulating all types of taxis, including black-yellow and radio taxis, by October end.

Sources said the policy would focus on increasing availability of taxis and protecting consumers' interest while ensuring transparen cy. Besides representatives from the Centre and state transport departments, now there are members from both IT ministry and Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) in the panel.

“These members have been incorporated as per the court direction. The IT ministry's input will be crucial in addressing issues of aggregators and use of technology to calculate distance, while CPCB's role is critical as av ailability of more taxis will help reduce demand for private vehicles and reduce pollution,“ said a central government source.

The Delhi HC will hear the case on November 21.

Sources said there would be different categories of taxis and one of them would be city taxis, which can ply from point to point within a city.

They added that options would be explored on laying conditions for fitting fare meters in such taxis, and allowing those operating through aggregators to use the GPS metering system, provided it met specified standards. However, states would take the final call.

Considering that different users have different requirements, the Centre is likely to suggest a separate category for taxis that can be hired on an hourly basis, those engaged by offices, companies and industries.

The policy may also have specific norms for sharing of seats for cheaper travel solutions and hiring two-wheelers as taxis.

In the last two years, the road transport ministry has circulated two sets of guidelines to states to prepare their regulations for taxis, but without much progress.

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