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Delhi government’s new “City Taxi Scheme” allows app-based taxi-aggregators to operate legally

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New Delhi: In yet another attempt to allow app-based taxi-aggregators to operate under legal framework, the Delhi government has introduced a new “City Taxi Scheme”.

Photo: www.buzzparas.com
Photo: www.buzzparas.com

According to the report published in Economic Times, the present scheme amalgamates various existing schemes for radio taxis and economy taxis and is believed to be an improvement over a previous scheme.

The ET report quotes a government official as saying: “The rules this time have been fine tuned and improved upon for all taxi service providers. The scheme should be operational in the next couple of days, once the minutes of the (transport) authority (meeting) are released.”

One of the hallmark improvements in this scheme is its doing away with the requirement of setting up of centralized control rooms by the taxi operators that was opposed by many taxi operators.

The scheme will not be applicable to “black and yellow” taxis and those taxis under “All India Tourist Permit” that operate on long distance routes.

The scheme has further made provision for the inclusion of small cars like Tata Nano and Mehendra’s Reva in cab operations. The scheme has also stipulated a cap of 2500 taxis per operator and the operators are to implement government decided fare structure.

In December, the state transport department had made changes to radio taxi scheme’s rules, with an intention to bring app-based taxi operators under the legal framework, but was rejected by app companies who had refused to register themselves into the scheme.

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Uber India Rolls Out Driver Reward Programme “Uber Plus”

Uber India has planned free doctor access and micro loans for drivers

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Uber
Uber has rolled out a reward programme for drivers in India. Wikimedia Commons

Global ride-hailing major Uber on Wednesday rolled out a driver rewards programme called “Uber Plus” in India that will let drivers earn points for rides so that they can win free doctor consultations, concessions on education modules, access to micro loans, faster airport pick ups and savings on vehicle maintenance costs.

These points will be earned by the driver partners in 13 cities over a fixed period of every three months and can be then accumulated to unlock higher rating tiers such as blue, gold, platinum and diamond which, in turn, will let them access better rewards, informed the company.

“Under the programme, the Uber drivers get access to four tiers. To unlock these awards, they need to maintain a certain threshold rating and keep a low cancellation rate to unlock access to these benefits,” Prabhjeet Singh, Head of Cities, Uber India and South Asia, told IANS.

Uber Plus
Under this programme, Uber drivers get access to four tiers. Pixabay

“We have always worked towards prioritising their welfare and making them feel valued, respected and appreciated. ‘Uber Plus’ is an effort in that direction and will enable our driver partners to access greater benefits during their everyday journeys,” he added.

The rewards and offers are only available to drivers who use the Uber driver app, are participating in Uber Plus and meet applicable criteria.

Asked if this initiative will help in bringing down the number of cancellations, Singh replied: “We encourage ri ders to flag such cases if the driver cancels because the mode of payment is not cash, etc. That will help us take strict action against such drivers.

“We want to encourage behaviour which helps improve the marketplace reliability. Less the cancellation, the chances of the trip getting completed goes up and, overall, the network efficiency increases.”

An initial pilot phase was carried out in Delhi-NCR, Chandigarh and Mumbai and now, Uber Plus is being rolled out across 10 new cities, including Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Pune, Kochi, Guwahati and Jaipur.

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“We also want to reward drivers who have lower cancellations,” said Uber.

Under the driver programme, Uber has partnered with “Ayushman Bharat” to provide access to free healthcare to its drivers, wherein they have access to free healthcare of up to Rs 500,000 in empanelled hospitals. (IANS)