All vehicle-owners holding app-based city taxi permits will have to paint their cars in the mandated colours, state transport minister Diwakar Raote said Wednesday. Lower part of the vehicles must be given a coat of daffodil yellow if they desire to operate in the city, he said.
The government had announced a colour scheme and other rules for app-based taxis on March 5. Entrepreneurs engaged in renting out vehicles to aggregators had opposed coloring the vehicles, claiming they were also used for personal puposes.
“The rule is going to cost us a lot. I will decide if I still want to rent a vehicle to a cab aggregator under this rule,” said an entrepreneur who has registered ten vehicles with Ola.
Under the Maharashtra City Taxi scheme 2017, taxis operating on app-based city taxi permits will need to colour the top side of the vehicle in white, front and rear bumper side of the vehicle in white and lower side of the vehicle in daffodil yellow.
Raote said that the aggregators will need to ensure that the specific mandate of the colour coating is followed before its drivers register for a permit.
“We have allowed the aggregators to paint their vehicles from any source they want. The aim remains to identify all vehicles registered under the permit by one colour, just like how kaali peelis and rickshaws operate. If the aggregators have a problem, they are free to leave this business,” Raote told The Indian Express.
The rule also asks for 30 per cent of the total vehicles in an aggregator’s fleet to have an engine capacity beyond 1,400 cc.
This means that every cab aggregator must have 30 per cent of the vehicles in each city under the luxury category, for which permits will costs Rs 2.6 lakh per vehicle. “Aggregators must not have a problem with paying the added cost of permit for high-end cars. They looted commuters for so many years by following a surge pricing model, charging double or triple the respective fare amount. It is no big deal for them,” said Raote.
“Under the phone fleet taxi scheme issued in 2010, we had charged licence-holders Rs 2.4 lakh per permit for vehicles with an engine capacity beyond 1,400 cc.”
“Thus, it was necessary for us to impose the same rule for cab aggregators under app-based permits as well.The 30 per cent cap is to ensure aggregators do not keep all their vehicles in the lower-cost category and pose a threat to the smooth operations of kaali-peelis and rickshaws” said Transport Secretary Manoj Sonic.
There are 40,000 vehicles classified under cab aggregators in Mumbai. Of them, high-end vehicles form only 4-5 per cent of the entire fleet. As of now, no cap has been fixed on vehicles classified under app-based permits to allow a level playing field to them, authorities said.