Big news for Ola, Uber! Now, there's a definition for cab aggregators

Daniel Fowler
November 29, 2020

"The Driver of a vehicle coordinated with the Aggregator will get at any rate 80% of the toll appropriate on each ride and the excess charges for each ride will be gotten by the Aggregator", read the rules, a duplicate of which has been surveyed by ET.

The ministry of road transport and highways (MoRTH) on Friday issued guidelines aimed at bringing cab aggregators like Ola and Uber under a regulatory framework, which among other things, has fixed a ceiling for surge pricing.

Uber and Ola have not previously publicly shared precisely how much they charge their drivers for each ride, but industry estimates show that a driver partner with either of these firms makes up to 74% of the ride fare, after paying taxes.

The government has defined the meaning of aggregator, through Motor Vehicle aggregator guidelines, as digital mediators or marketplaces for passengers to connect with a driver for the intent of transportation.

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The base fare will be for a minimum of 3 kilometres.

The aggregators have been allowed to provide pooling facilities to customers, whose details and KYC information is available. The new rules also allow female passengers availing ride pooling services the option to pool only with other female passengers. For cancellation of bookings, either by the driver or the rider, the penalty has been fixed at 10 per cent of the fare, but it can not exceed Rs 100. The ministry issued the guidelines under the part of Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019, that states take into account before issuing a license to state aggregators. The same penalty will be imposed on the rider if he cancels the booking. The state government may by way of a notification direct 2 per cent over and above the fare towards the state exchequer for amenities and programmes related for aggregator operated vehicles, which have been helpful in reducing traffic congestion to a great extent and subsequently reducing pollution. The said amount shall be divided between the driver and the aggregator in the same proportion. According to the guidelines, the aggregators have to ensure that the data generated on their apps is stored on a server in India and that such stored data shall be for a minimum of three months and maximum of 24 months from the date on which such data is generated.

The cab aggregators will also have to establish a 24X7 control room and all drivers will have to mandatorily be connected to the control room at all times. In an offer to diminish gridlock and auto contamination, and compelling resource uses, the public authority has likewise permitted aggregators towards non-transport vehicle pooling, except if denied by the State Government. The vehicle integrated shall obtain an insurance of at least Rs 5 lakh for the ride sharers in the vehicle, other than the owner or driver integrated with the aggregator.

The aggregator will need to make its app accessible in English and Hindi as primary languages for the rider along with one official language of the relevant state, where official language is not Hindi. In cases of non-transport vehicles being aggregated for ride-pooling, a limit of four ride-sharing intra-city trips on a calendar day and two ride-sharing inter-city trips per week for each vehicle with the driver has been stipulated.

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