Maharashtra floats draft rules for app-based taxi services

The Maharashtra government has released a draft of Maharashtra City Taxi Rules 2016 which proposes mandatory licensing of app-based taxi aggregators such as Ola and Uber.

This would give some relief to the agitated traditional taxi and auto-rickshaw drivers as taxi aggregators will have to comply with the rules when passed, reports CNBC-TV18.

The draft says, "App-based aggregators mostly use smartphones to connect a taxi and a commuter. The application is so designed that the driver of the taxi does not know the destination of the customer nor does he determine the fare to be charged. These are determined by the aggregator software. For all practical purposes, the commuter has hired a taxi from such aggregator and the aggregator has offered such services, and is therefore amenable to and required to be regulated alike any other taxi service provider."

Under the draft, no cab can have less than 980cc engine capacity and should not have space for more than seven passengers. It also urges app-based cab aggregators to use cleaner fuels including unleaded petrol, CNG, LPG, hybrid and electrics.

The Maharashtra government has asked all the stakeholders to give their feedback on the draft by 5 November.