The Maharashtra government is considering to allow black and yellow taxis as well fleet taxi operators such as Meru and Tabcab to migrate to app-based taxi aggregators, but with certain conditions.
The fleet taxi operators, who have been issued licenses under Fleet Taxi Schemes 2007 and Phone Fleet Taxi Scheme 2010, would be given “deemed permission” to switch to app-based taxis, while black and yellow taxis will have to follow certain conditions while doing so.
The decision was taken in a recent meeting about City Taxi Scheme 2015, chaired by chief minister Devendra Fadanvis. As per the documents accessed by HT, the government is now going to revise the scheme, for which it would invite suggestions and objections from the public.
For regulating the app-based taxis of the aggregators like Ola and Uber and regulating their fare, the Maharashtra government is working on making new rules and regulations for them under the City Taxi Scheme 2015.
Taxi industry experts, however, feel that the decision would have an impact on the city’s public transport if a large number of black and yellow taxi drivers move to app-based taxis, resulting in shortage of drivers for them. “Not everybody in Mumbai hails taxis via smartphones for short distance. A majority of people still depend on the black and yellow taxis. If their number goes down, it will have an adverse impact on the city’s public transport,” said an expert, requesting anonymity.
At present, many black and yellow cabbies are working with the Ola and Uber, but commuters are reluctant to use non-AC taxis. Whereas, the number of app-based AC taxis has gone up significantly due reasons like ease of booking taxis, comfortable ride and well-mannered drivers, among others.
According to sources, after migrating to app-based taxis, the black and yellow taxis would have to stay with the same aggregator at least for a month. Currently, most of the drivers of app-based taxis work with multiple aggregators. Also, they will be given a different roof top indicator for easy identification. Use of air-conditioners will be optional even though most new vehicles plying as black and yellow cabs have air conditioners but they cannot be used under the current tariff structure.