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Maharashtra government likely to accept panel report; taxi, auto fares may rise

Minimum fare for taxis, autos may rise to at least ₹26, ₹20; long-distance rides may get cheaper. Surge-pricing for app-based cabs may be set at 3 times the fare of regular cabs.

mumbai Updated: Jun 20, 2019 08:36 IST
Kailash Korde
Kailash Korde
Hindustan Times
mumbai,maharashtra,cabs
The four-member panel, headed by retired IAS officer BC Khatua, was formed to review the report submitted by the Hakim Panel, which in turn was formed in 2012.(Hindustan Times)

Mumbaiites may soon have to pay more for short-distance taxi and autorickshaw rides, but long-distance rides are likely to get cheaper. Reason: the state government is expected to accept a new formula for fare revision of taxis and autos, based on the recommendations of the Khatua panel.

If implemented, the minimum fare for taxis and autos will increase to at least ₹26 and ₹20, respectively. The new formula will take fuel costs, taxi drivers’ cost of living and insurance premiums into account while calculating the fare. The panel report also suggests implementation of ‘telescoping pricing’, wherein the per-kilometre price reduces as more distance is covered, beyond 8 kilometres.

Additionally, the state government may also introduce caps for surge pricing fare for app-based cab aggregators. The limit is likely to be set at three times as that of regular cabs. However, it might reject the panel recommendation to categorise the cab into three segments: regular, mid-sized and premium.

The four-member panel, headed by retired IAS officer BC Khatua, was formed to review the report submitted by the Hakim Panel, which in turn was formed in 2012. The Khatua panel submitted its report in October 2017. Earlier this month, taxi unions threatened to go on an agitation if a final decision was not taken on the recommendations. Last week, state transport minister Diwakar Raote told HT that the decision would be taken this week.

The government is likely to accept the panel’s recommendation to lower the additional fare for AC cab rides to 10% from the current 20% for black-and-yellow taxis and to 20% from the current 25% for cool cabs. While the luggage charge for cabs will remain unchanged, the same for autorickshaws is expected to increase to ₹6 from ₹2. Other recommendations made by the panel include implementation of a ‘happy hour’ between 1pm and 4pm when taxi drivers can give passengers a 20% discount. However, the state is likely to reject this provision – given that taxi and autorickshaw unions have opposed it. The government may also accept the demand to revise auto and taxi fares annually on June 1.

First Published: Jun 20, 2019 01:13 IST

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