For the convenience of passengers, the state government wants radio cab operators to add vehicles that have a greater passenger carrying capacity to their fleet.
At present all radio taxis plying on city roads can hold four passengers and a driver. Most conventional black-yellow and cool cab taxis also have the same seating capacity.
The state government is amending rule 66A of Maharashtra Motor Vehicle Rule, under which it will formulate new rules for radio taxis under the Phone Fleet Taxis Scheme (PFTS).
In a draft notification issued for it, the state government has proposed that the licensee (operator) of a radio cab service ensure that 10% of its vehicles have a seating capacity of 5 or 6 passengers, and the driver.
The notification also states that the operator must have at least 1,000 permits in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) and if it operates outside it, it needs at least 50 more permits.
A senior official in the transport department said that currently, families that have six or more people are forced to take two taxis, a problem they are looking to change with the new rule.
The department also hopes that the move will reduce congestion on city roads.
“If one taxi carries the load of two, it will ultimately result in less congestion on city roads and will also save people’s money,” said the official.
However, according to sources, by amending the rules, the government also wants to restrict the number of permits given to single company so that there is healthy competition and no one operator monopolises the market.