Kerala follows Karnataka’s example; drafts rules for cab aggregators

By : |July 16, 2016 0

Taking a cue from Karnataka government, Kerala has now drafted a set of rules to regulate cab aggregators regarding mandatory licensing, GPS installation in cabs, government pricing, panic button in the app, and so on.

Kerala government will initiate broad discussions with all stakeholders this month, before tabling the draft to be passed as a law.

CIOL Kerala follows Karnataka’s example; drafts rules for cab aggregators

The draft policy—Kerala on-demand information technology-based transportation scheme (2016)—defines a cab aggregator as a digital intermediary between a passenger and driver of a motor cab having a valid permit under existing rules. The draft rules state that taxi companies need to register under the 1956 Companies Act and comply with regulations under the IT Act (2000). These companies can get the license to operate their service for an initial period of three years.

The document also lays down rules for drivers, who need to pay an annual fee of Rs 100 to the transport department. The aggregators will also have to ensure that the track record of drivers is clean, in order to ensure the security of passengers. The draft also has a clause in favor of drivers, where it says that the license of the aggregator could be canceled in the event of any harassment complaint by any driver.

The draft also proposes to set up pricing for taxi cabs, to rein in surge pricing. This clause will not go down well with Uber, which has already filed a petition in Karnataka court against similar regulations. Karnataka government is yet to give its verdict on the matter but Uber might be looking at a similar battle in Kerala now.

However, Nitin Nair, general manager, Uber, Kerala said in a statement, “We believe government’s move to roll out regulations for app-based ride-hailing services is a recognition of this new sector and the role we play in bringing urban mobility solutions. We are engaged with the state government and policymakers through constructive dialogue and would continue to work closely.” Uber is currently present in two cities of Kerala—Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram.

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