In an attempt to level the playing field between autos, kaali Peelis and private aggregators like Ola and Uber, Maharashtra’s state-based Khatua Committee has recommended the introduction of ‘happy hours’ between 12 pm and 4 pm.
During this span autos and Kaali Peelis will be able to offer rides at discounted rates helping commuters heave a sigh of relief.
This panel is responsible for setting the fare structures for taxis, autorickshaws and cab aggregators like Ola and Uber.
The rationale behind the proposal is to attract more commuters through discounts reports the Times of India. But it is important to note, that the happy hour discounts may not apply to the base fare.
The idea is to allow taxi and auto fares to be discounted between 12 pm to 4 pm, by 15 per cent beyond the first 1.5 km.
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Earlier on, the Khatua committee had also suggested a telescopic fare structure within Mumbai with the aim to reduce the tariff on trips beyond 8 km in both kaali peelis and autos.
Under the same, regular rates would be charged up to 8 km, but going further there would be a reduction in 15 per cent in the basic fare from distance of 8.1 km to 12 km and reduction of 20 per cent for distances beyond 12 km.
After repeated pleas by taxi and auto unions, the committee is considering the move to not only allow autos and taxis the option of a flexible/discount fare but is also proposing limits on surge pricing and dips concerning Ola and Uber.
To combat the menace of exploitative pricing, the floor prices and ceiling prices for Ola and Uber have been fixed from Rs 14 to Rs 38 across categories.
While the small/base cars can charge Rs 14 to Rs 26, midsize cars can charge Rs 16 to Rs 32 and premium cars can charge slightly higher from Rs 16 to Rs 38.
The committee report said, “This new concept will turn lean hours to happy hours, especially for housewives and senior citizens who don’t have a fixed schedule for their outings. This will fetch more ridership to the taxi and autorickshaw drivers during the lean period. This will also create new travel pattern during the happy hours.”
Another proposal by the panel includes a common uniform for all cab aggregator cabs including a blue shirt with tie, black trousers and black shoes.
Happy hours for autos & kaali peelis may allow them to offer discounted fares between 12 pm to 4 pm.