The Karnataka government on Sunday introduced a fixed fare rule applicable to app-based cab aggregators such as Ola and Uber, as well as non-app-based city taxi services. The move aims to address concerns regarding surge pricing and provide a consistent pricing structure for commuters and drivers alike.
The announcement classifies taxi vehicles into three categories based on their cost. For vehicles priced at Rs 10 lakh or below, the fixed fare for the initial four kilometres is set at Rs 100, with an additional charge of Rs 24 per extra kilometre. Those falling within the Rs 10 lakh to Rs 15 lakh range will have a minimum fare of Rs 115 for the first four kilometres and Rs 28 for each subsequent kilometer. Vehicles costing Rs 15 lakh or more will see a fixed fare of Rs 130 for the initial four kilometers, with an additional charge of Rs 32 for every extra kilometre.
One notable aspect of the new regulation is the elimination of surge pricing for app-based cab services. Previously, surge pricing had been a source of contention among commuters, leading to complaints about inflated fares during peak hours.
While the move has been welcomed by Ola and Uber associations, some commuters express concerns about the increased fixed charges. Previously, a four-kilometre ride cost Rs 75 but the new rules have set the fixed price at Rs 100.
“The middle-class is never taken into account while deciding this,” a commuter told NDTV.
“I have been with Ola and Uber for three years. I am satisfied with the move,” said a driver.
Additionally, the Karnataka government has imposed restrictions on extra charges for late-night rides, allowing taxi operators to levy an additional 10 per cent between 12 am and 6 am. The first five minutes of waiting time will be free for passengers, after which a charge of Rs 1 per minute will apply. Cab aggregators are also permitted to collect 5 per cent GST and toll charges from passengers.