Unhappy with cab tariff? Tell Maharashtra govt online
If you think the fares of non-air conditioned (AC) kaali-peelis and autorickshaws are higher than AC app-based cabs such as Ola and Uber, despite them lacking the quality service provided by the latter, you can participate in the online survey the state is set to introduce on Tuesday.
This is the first time the state will conduct an online survey to determine the new tariff formula for cabs.
The survey will ask citizens about their preferred mode of payment, what they think about digital payment, fare meters, fare discounts and how much more they are willing to pay for an AC ride, according to sources. Suggestions can be submitted to the transport department’s website — https://transport.maharashtra.gov.in.
The survey is the brainchild of former bureaucrat BC Khatua, who is the chairman of the four-member fare review committee.
According to sources, the committee has met with taxi and auto rickshaw unions and companies several times at various places in the state. It is now in the final stage of preparing its report, which will be finalised by the end of this month. The committee will conduct three additional surveys, in which only taxi and auto drivers, and union representatives can register their feedback.
Word Research Institute, a reputable research organisation, has designed the survey forms, which contain objective questions.
All four forms are different, though they certain common questions about minimum distances and fares, night surcharge and its timing, whether the number of taxis and autos is adequate and opinions on the Hakim formula. Respondents can state their opinion on policies such as the fare structure.
Specimen forms in English, Hindi and Marathi are available on the state’s website in PDF format. These will be replaced by links to Google forms so people can answer the survey.
Sources said the survey was supposed to begin last month, but was delayed as Marathi and Hindi forms were yet to be converted.
The forms for drivers mainly focus on their working and earnings. However, the committee also asked the union whether they are willing to function as aggregators.
Last year, Mumbai Grahak Panchyat (MGP), an organisation fighting for consumer rights, had conducted a survey to find out what commuters think about app-based taxis. Thousands across the city had participated in the study.
In 2016, the state had set up the Khatua committee to review the auto and taxi fare formula derived by the single-member Hakim panel in 2012, when consumer groups protested against the steep hike in auto fares. The committee was also given the mandate of fixing the upper and lower fare cap for app-based cabs.
MGP welcomed the survey and said the transport department should publicise it so more citizens participate.