New rules for Ola, Uber drivers introduced under Maharashtra City Taxi scheme 2017

New rules for Ola, Uber drivers introduced under Maharashtra City Taxi scheme 2017
The Maharashtra City Taxi scheme 2017 imposes more restrictions on Ola and Uber

The State Transport Department on Wednesday released a final notification pertaining to the Maharashtra City Taxi scheme 2017, which imposes a number of restrictions on the drivers associated with app-based aggregators like Ola and Uber.

Key rules or changes prescribed under the Maharashtra City Taxi scheme 2017 notification are given below:

# New Permits:

Under the new rules, drivers holding the ‘All India Tourist’ permit will not be allowed to operate as driver partners with app-based aggregators. They will have to convert the existing permit to ‘App-Based City Taxi’ permit, which will limit their operations to Mumbai.

# Coloured Cabs:

All cabs affiliated with app-based aggregators will have to compulsorily colour the top, front and rear of the car in white and the lower side of the vehicle in daffodil yellow.

The drivers can get their cars coloured from the vendor of their choice, but will have to do so before applying for the new permit. The standardised colour will help identify all taxis affiliated with aggregators.

# Engine Capacity:

Every aggregator, like Ola and Uber, will have to ensure that 30 percent of their fleet consists of cars with engine capacity beyond 1,400 cc. Permits for cars under 1,400 cc will cost Rs 25,000 while that for those over 1,400 cc will cost Rs 2.61 lakh.

The engine capacity cap is intended to ensure that aggregators don’t just operate smaller vehicles, which will compete directly with existing cabs and autos. Currently, less than 5 percent of the fleet has an engine capacity of over 1,400 cc.

# Fares:

The minimum and maximum fares applicable for those holding a ‘App-Based City Taxi’ permit will be set by the licensing authority later on. The new fares may affect the aggregator’s ‘surge pricing’ policy.

No limits may be prescribed for cabs with engine capacity of over 2,000 cc.

# Fleet Size:

Unlike previous iterations, the new rules do not limit the number of cabs that can be operated by each aggregator. The decision to not cap the fleet size of aggregators is to ensure a level playing field.

# Public Service Vehicle badge:

Every driver associated with aggregators will have to have a valid commercial driving licence and Public Service Vehicle (PSV) badge issued by the licensing authority. While all drivers already have a commercial driving licence, they will have to apply for the PSV badge.

Getting the badge will entail police verification and submission of address proof. The step is intended to weed out those who have committed serious driving offences or have criminal records.

# Other Rules:

* Aggregators will be responsible for police verification of drivers and their conduct.

* Drivers will have to wear uniform approved by licensing authority or as per company’s design.

* Drivers will have to undergo refresher training on safe driving skills, gender sensitization and passenger etiquette once in a year.

* Aggregators will have to ensure drivers undergo annual health checkup.

* Drivers will not be able to pick up passengers by street hailing.

The Maharashtra City Taxi scheme 2017 notification in its entirety can be found here.

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