Cab aggregators Uber and Ola have agreed to cap surge pricing at 45 percent of the base fare, following a meeting with West Bengal Transport Department officials. The base fare is proposed to be the government-notified rates for AC metered taxis in the city.
“We have submitted our proposal today and have outlined our intent to self-regulate fares at a maximum of 45 percent more than the government-notified prices for A/C metered taxis in the city, at any given time,” Uber said in a statement. Ola has not sent any communication in this regard.
The state transport department, based on complaints from users on exorbitant fares during peak hours, had recently sent a 30-point questionnaire to Uber and Ola, seeking response on the surge pricing mechanism.
“The ministry has graciously agreed to open up new permits, expedite the launch of bike taxis and remove the vehicle colour condition,” the statement said.
Last month, Uber had proposed self-regulation of dynamic or surge pricing to address the West Bengal government’s concerns. The West Bengal Transport Department, based on complaints from users on exorbitant fares during peak hours, had reportedly sent a 30-point questionnaire to Uber and another ride hailing firm Ola, seeking response on the surge pricing mechanism.
“During periods when there is a high imbalance in the availability of Ubers vis-a-vis the number of people requesting a ride, we propose to self-regulate the dynamic pricing multiplier between 1.9x to 2.9x to minimise impact on riders,” Uber Regional GM (India & South Asia) Prabhjeet Singh was quoted as saying in the statement.
The company also said it provides free trips to hospitals, ensures flat fares to public transport hubs and has introduced weekly or monthly subscription-based commuter passes. Uber said that in the interest of expanding availability of transportation options for Kolkata, it has put forth a few suggestions to the state government around simplifying processes and costs for bike-taxi permits, as well as commercial four-wheeler permits.