Stringent rules recommended by the state government to regulate app based cab aggregators will make their services unviable.
Cab aggregator Uber has started an online petition urging citizens to sign the plea against the Government of Maharashtra’s proposal to regulate app based cab services in the state. The firm has opposed some of the rules in the draft city taxi scheme which includes excessively high permit fees for drivers; a requirement of more expensive cars, less fuel efficient cars and price restrictions including minimum fares. If rules are implemented in the present form then it will make cab aggregator services expensive and commuters will have to wait for long time to board a taxi. Uber also added that the new proposal will impose a financial burden on aggregators and will make its services unviable. The proposed rules also threaten the livelihood of thousands of drivers because the new, higher permit fees are prohibitively expensive for them.
“We understand that existing taxi and auto drivers are feeling the pressure from services like Uber. But the answer is to level the playing field by reducing today’s burdensome regulations – not to introduce rules that will be bad for riders, drivers and Mumbai,” Uber said in a statement.
Uber, which is valued at a whopping $69 billion, further added that the stringent rules recommended by the government can threaten the livelihood of thousands of drivers because the new, higher permit fees are prohibitively expensive for them.
The petition started by Uber has received good response from citizens and so far 5876 people have signed it and the number is expected to grow. A petition asked for 50,000 signatures.
Gopal Borakade a BPO employee from Malad said, “I am satisfied with the services offered by cab aggregators as they are customer friendly. It is easier to book a cab through apps as I don’t have to wait for an hour for boarding taxi. The fares charged by cab operators are cheaper as compared to kaali-peeli taxis.”
Mrunal Kapse, a Kandivali resident said, “The kaali-peeli tax drivers behave with commuters in a rude manner and often refuse to ply on short distance routes. They must improve the service provided by them and use technology to compete with cab aggregators.”
Rohit Singh, a public relations executive from Borivali said, “I have signed the petition started by Uber. As you are aware that it is difficult to commute in a crowded city like Mumbai hence it is necessary for the government to provide better transportation facilities to passengers. Merely regulating cab services and imposing higher fees on them will only make their services unviable.”
The proposed rules want engine capacity of over 1400 cc for half of Uber’s fleet of cars, besides increasing the price tags for permits up to Rs 2.61 lakh. The rules also require Uber to deposit Rs 50 lakh per 1,000 vehicles, which the company thinks would make its business proposition unviable.