Ride-sharing services Uber and Ola are in the news yet again and this time too it’s a face-off with the government. Uber has urged its users in Mumbai to protest against new rules proposed by the Maharashtra government that may force it and rival Ola to restrict their fleets and constrain their ability to set prices.
In protest Uber has been urging its users to sign a petition, via a pop up that appears when the app is used. Uber’s request got the support of more than one lakh Mumbaikars and Uber’s Mumbai team reached the transport commissioner's office on November 4, armed with boxes full of signed petitions to present to the commissioner.
The Maharashtra government’s proposed rules include the introduction of minimum and maximum fares, high registration and deposit fees, induction schedules and the adoption of non-diesel vehicles which are not as fuel efficient. These are only some of the concerns that Uber has raised.
While Uber and Ola have been operating on “All India Tourist Permits” across the country, Maharashtra’s draft rules have created a separate category for them, distinct from radio taxis and ordinary black and yellow taxis. Under the proposed regulation, Uber and Ola cabs will be allotted an “App Based City Taxi Permit” if they fulfill the necessary requirements.
In this live broadcast from the Maharashtra transport commissioner’s office, BloombergQuint spoke to Uber’s Shailesh Sawlani to find out what Uber wants from the Maharashtra government.