App-based taxi services are introducing schemes to woo the government which banned the ‘surge pricing’ strategy of multiplying fares during periods of high demand.
Taxi aggregator Uber, in line with the government’s focus on curbing pollution, began a ride sharing model to protect the environment. For World Earth Day on April 22, it offered 50% discount for riders on uberPOOL.
Officials of Uber, which said surge pricing will be back, met chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday to discuss the strategy. Sources said apart from surge pricing, the government objected to per minute charge and vehicles registered outside Delhi.
Transport minister Gopal Rai on Thursday again clarified that ban on surge pricing would continue.
Uber’s competitor in India, Ola, announced its support to Delhi government’s odd-even initiative by adding more vehicles on its platform.
Ola added over 26,000 CNG vehicles in Delhi and more than 1,000 vehicles through a leasing program last week.
But as the entire focus is on Ola and Uber, other private taxi companies registered with the Delhi government feel cheated.
Taxi hailing apps Ridz and Magic Sewa are having a tough time, despite all clearances from the government. “We do not believe in charging customers anything more than the service that we provide,” said Ridz chief operating officer Abhishek Sharma.
Magic Sewa filed a petition against surge prices and compliance of government-notified fares.
The controversial surge pricing model hit the headlines during the ongoing second phase of the odd-even scheme in Delhi, when fares on Ola and Uber went by up to five times due to high demand. This led the Delhi government to ban it.