A day after chief minister Arvind Kejriwal warned of action against taxi aggregators for ‘surge pricing’, transport department impounded 50 vehicles that were reportedly charging extra fare from the passengers.
From booking the cab through their mobile phones to randomly checking commercial vehicles, 40 teams of the transport department launched a massive drive to crack down on ‘surge pricing’ on Monday.
“There is no way they can charge extra amount from passengers. Despite the senior officials assuring the chief minister that there will be no surge pricing till the government frames a policy, it is back. We will not tolerate this and stricter action will be taken,” said KK Dahiya, special commissioner (transport).
According to sources, most of the cabs belong to Uber, which had said they cannot survive without ‘surge pricing’. Uber officials did not comment on the matter but on the app, surge pricing was on for most part of the day. Ola, however, said they haven’t resumed surge pricing.
“There is currently no peak pricing on the Ola platform in Delhi-National Capital Region,” Ola said in a tweet.
The Delhi government launched a helpline on Monday for residents to report about taxi operators who overcharge. Transport minister Gopal Rai tweeted that residents can use the number — 011-42400400 — to register their complaints and said strict action will be taken against those following surge pricing.
This number was in place for complaints and suggestions related to odd-even.
Surge pricing is a business model in which companies charge higher rates than normal to encourage more drivers to offer rides when demand for taxis outstrips supply.
The move has come at a time when the ban on diesel-run cabs affected nearly 27,000 vehicles leaving many people stranded. Uber had introduced the provision during the second phase of the odd-even road rationing system, and commuters raised objections to the move. Kejriwal had asserted that such demand-linked hikes would be banned permanently.
Uber and Ola hiked rates by at least three times during odd-even, and commuters complained they had to pay “astronomical rates” because of surge pricing. They had to withdraw the move after the government’s threat to cancel licences and impound cabs.