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Female passengers can avail ride pooling on Uber, Ola only with other lady commuters

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New Delhi, Nov 27, 2020-
Female passengers seeking to avail ride pooling on Uber and Ola will be provided the option to pool only with other lady commuters, as per the latest notification issued by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.

Travel aggregators may provide pooling facilities to the riders whose details and KYC are available and who shall be travelling along the same route but with varied stoppages from one point to another under a virtual contract through the app, the guidelines said.

“Female passengers seeking to avail ride pooling shall also be provided the option to pool only with other female passengers,” the guidelines said.

The ministry has put a cap on what Ola and Uber can charge with a new set of guidelines allowing the aggregator to charge a fare 50 per cent lower than the base fare and a maximum surge pricing of 1.5 times the base fare.

This will enable and promote asset utilisation which has been the fundamental concept of transport aggregation and also substantiate the dynamic pricing principle, which is pertinent in ensuring asset utilisation in accordance with the market forces of demand and supply, the ministry said in a notification issued on Thursday.

The ministry through the notification has enforced Section 36 of the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019. In pursuance of the provision under Section 93 of Motor Vehictes Act, 1988, the ministry has issued the Motor Vehicle Aggregator Guidelines, 2020.

These guidelines will provide a guiding framework to the state governments/UTs to consider issuing licences as well as regulating the business being conducted by such aggregators.

The city taxi fare indexed by the WPI for the current year shall be the base fare chargeable to customers availing aggregator service.

The base minimum fare chargeable to customers availing aggregator services shall be, for a minimum of 3 km, to compensate for dead mileage and distance travelled and fuel utilised for picking up the customers.

The driver of a vehicle integrated with the aggregator shall receive at least 80 per cent of the fare applicable on each ride and the remaining charges for each ride shall be received by the aggregator. 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.

On cancellation of a booking by a driver, subsequent to accepting a ride on the app, a penalty of 10 per cent of the total fare not exceeding Rs 100 shall be imposed, when such cancellation is made without valid reasons stipulated by the aggregator on its website and on the app. On cancellation of a booking by a rider, subsequent to booking a ride on the app, a penalty of 10 per cent of the total fare not exceeding Rs 100 shall be imposed. The said amount shall be divided between the driver and the aggregator in the same proportion.

The aggregator will ensure health insurance for each driver integrated with the aggregator for an amount not less than Rs 5 lakh with base year 2020-21 and increased by 5 pert cent each year.

It will also ensure a term insurance for each driver integrated with the aggregator for an amount not less than Rs 10 lakh with base year 2020-21 and increase by 5 per cent each Year.

The aggregator will ensure that the driver shall not be logged in for an aggregate of 12 hours on a calendar day. A mandatory break of 10 hours for the driver shall be imposed subsequent to a login extending 12 hours.

The aggregator will ensure that the data generated on the app 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 are generated. This data shall be made available to the state government as per the due process of law. Any data related to customers shall not be disclosed without the written consent of the customer.

A control room has to be established with 24×7 operations and ensuring that all vehicles on the direction of the aggregator maintain uninterrupted contact with the control room. The control room shall be in a position to monitor the movements of all the vehicles on the directions of the aggregator.

In furtherance of the Central and state governments’ objective of reduction in traffic congestion and automobile pollution and effective asset utilisations, non-transport vehicle pooling may be provided by the aggregator unless prohibited by the state government. Rationale for such prohibition shall be specified in writing and made accessible on the transport portal of the state government.

A maximum of four ride sharing intra-city trips on a calendar day and a maximum of two ride sharing inter-city trips per week shall be permitted for each vehicle. 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. (Agency)

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