Sunday, May 28, 2023

Electric cabs, 24×7 monitoring: What does Delhi’s new draft scheme for aggregators say?

Very soon, you may be riding in electric cabs when you're in Delhi while your journey is monitored 24x7.

Delhi new draft scheme for cabs and delivery vehiclesThe draft ‘Delhi Motor Vehicle Aggregator and Delivery Services Provider Scheme’ had been uploaded for public feedback. (Express photo by Sahil Walia)
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Electric cabs, 24×7 monitoring: What does Delhi’s new draft scheme for aggregators say?
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Very soon, you may be riding in electric cabs when you’re in Delhi while your journey is monitored 24×7.

The Delhi Transport Department on Wednesday uploaded the ‘Draft Delhi Motor Vehicle Aggregator and Delivery Services Provider Scheme’ on its website, which will command cab and delivery services aggregators to switch to EVs and increase passenger safety.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had approved the draft scheme earlier this month. It is part of the Delhi government’s vision to boost the usage of electric vehicles in order to reduce vehicular pollution.

What will change under the new scheme? We answer all your questions.

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What is the Delhi Motor Vehicle Aggregator and Delivery Services Provider Scheme?
The scheme will set some rules for both aggregators providing passenger services (such as Ola, Uber) and delivery services (Zomato, Swiggy, Amazon, for instance). The principal aim of the policy is to direct aggregators and service providers to completely transition to electric vehicles (EVS) by 2030.

The scheme also lays the foundation for regulatory provisions for bike taxis and rent-a-bike services.
So, will cabs now have to be EVs?
Once the draft scheme is notified, aggregators will be required to undertake a phased conversion of their fleet into EVs.

For instance, within 6 months from the scheme's notification, 5 percent of a cab aggregator's newly onboarded fleet of four-wheelers will need to be electric. The percentage must increase to 15 percent in a year, 25 percent in two years, and 100 percent in five years.

"The Aggregator shall switch to an all-electric fleet by April 1, 2030," stipulates the draft scheme. The same will apply for delivery service aggregators.
What about bike taxis?
The draft scheme states that all bike taxis and two-wheeler renting services shall only be via electric two-wheelers.

"The Aggregator shall be allowed to operate bike taxi (two-wheeler taxi) services, provided that any vehicle being on-boarded as part of the fleet by from the date of commencement of this scheme shall be Electric Vehicles only," the draft notes.
What provisions are listed in the scheme for passenger safety?
An important feature of the scheme is its focus on public safety.

  • It provides for setting up of command control centres by aggregators where they should be able to access data like the origin, destination, and route of trip round the clock – to track the movement of their personnel at all times.

  • The scheme also mandates that the passenger services provide panic buttons and integrate the panic alerts with emergency response numbers and the concerned law enforcement agencies.

  • The aggregators will also be required to monitor ratings and feedback from passengers, and remedial training would be provided to drivers who have been awarded a rating of less than three out of five in a month.

  • A feature enabling the rider to share the live location and status of their ride after it begins will be provided on the app.

  • The placement of a fire extinguisher, disabled child lock mechanism, and an enabled manual override for the central locking system will be mandatory.

  • The aggregator will have to ensure that the driver plies the vehicle on the route assigned on the app and in non-compliance of the same, there needs to be a mechanism wherein the app device indicates the fault to the driver and the control room immediately communicates with the driver.

What does the draft scheme say about addressal of passenger complaints?
The draft lays down a mechanism to ensure timely and effective redressal of passenger grievances against the ride, driver, or the condition of the vehicle.

If the complaint registered with the grievance redressal centre is criminal in nature, then the concerned driver will be off-boarded by the aggregator till the issue is resolved.
Does the scheme say anything about cab pricing?
“The fare for providing on-demand service mobility shall comply with the order(s) of the Department of Transport, GNCTD, as may be notified from time to time,” read the draft notification.

However, the scheme does not clearly talk about surge pricing charged by cab aggregators.

First published on: 26-05-2023 at 11:15 IST
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