Karnataka Government Announces Uniform Fares for Cabs, Including Ola and Uber
The Karnataka government has introduced a uniform fare structure for cabs running under aggregator rules, affecting companies like Ola and Uber, as well as non-app-based city taxis. The new fare system categorizes taxi vehicles into three classes based on the cost of the vehicle.
For vehicles up to 10 lakh, the minimum fare is set at Rs 100 for up to 4 km, with Rs 24 per additional km. Vehicles costing between 10 lakh and 15 lakh will have a minimum fare of Rs 115 for the first 4 km and Rs 28 for each additional km. Vehicles above 15 lakh will start with a minimum fare of Rs 130 for the first 4 km, with Rs 32 for every additional km. Surge pricing by cab aggregators is prohibited under the new order.
L Hemanth Kumar, additional commissioner for transport and secretary of State Transport Authority, said that the government aims to establish uniform fares for all taxis and cabs, removing separate fares for app-based and city taxis. Waiting charges for passengers are free for the first five minutes and Rs 1 for every minute thereafter. A 5 % GST will be collected by app-based aggregators, and toll charges can be collected from passengers. Nighttime fares between 12 am and 6 am will be 10 percent higher.
The earlier fare structure for app-based cabs, including Ola and Uber, was revised in 2021, with fares categorized based on the price of vehicles into four classes:
- Small Cabs (Up to Rs 5 lakh): Rs 75 for the first 4 km.
- Vehicles Costing Between 5-10 Lakh: Rs 100 minimum for 4 km.
- Vehicles Costing Rs 10 Lakh-16 Lakh: Rs 120 minimum for 4 km.
- Luxury Cabs (Above Rs 16 Lakh): Rs 150 for the first 4 km.
For non-app-based city taxis in Bengaluru:
- Non-AC Taxis: Rs 75 for the first 4 km and Rs 18 for every subsequent km.
- AC Taxis: Rs 100 for the first 4 km and Rs 24 for every additional km.
Licenses for both ANI Technologies (operator of Ola) and Uber under the Karnataka On-demand Transportation Technology Aggregators Rule 2016 expired in 2021.
The move towards a unified fare structure is supposed to bring transparency and standardization to taxi services while ensuring fixed income for drivers and preventing surge pricing discrepancies. Cab aggregators must comply with the new fare regulations, and the government’s decision aims to create a level playing field for all players in the taxi service sector.