Mumbai: Kaali-peelis act 'pricey', now want surge pricing

If there’re Happy Hours for commuters, we want dynamic fares: Union

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Mumbai: Kaali-peelis act 'pricey', now want surge pricing


The idea of 'Happy Hours' for black-and-yellow cab commuters has rankled taxi drivers enough to now demand surge pricing during peak hours, on the lines of app-based cabs like Ola and Uber.

The Mumbai taxi union has made the demand so its member-drivers don't feel the pinch from the 'Happy Hours', which proposes that kaali-peeli fares be brought down between noon and 4 pm.

There's another reason. At present, some black-and-yellow taxis and auto rickshaws are on the grid of mobile aggregators. The unions claim that these drivers enjoy higher fares if a passenger books via the app, and so, surge pricing should be applicable to all. The unions had, in the past, come up with their app which failed.

The Happy Hours concept was suggested by the Khatua Committee, and the state transport department will hold a meeting, likely on June 25, with taxi unions and passenger associations to discuss the idea.

"We are against the Happy Hours' scheme. The taxi business is already hit and this would further hurt earnings. If this is approved, then we also want surge pricing such as is applicable to aggregator cabs during morning and evening rush hours," said AL Quadros, taxi union leader.

The dynamic pricing by Uber and Ola, slammed as unfair by commuters, is why the government is thinking about capping the fares.

The Khatua committee has also suggested 'telescopic fares' for black-and-yellow cabs, that is, the fares drop as the distance increases.

Shirish Deshpande, president of city-based consumer group Mumbai Grahak Panchayat, said: "We are demanding Happy Hour scheme for passengers. The taxis should ply in suburbs as well where there is demand, rather than going for surge pricing," said Shirish Deshpande.

During Happy Hours, a discount of 15% has been proposed on fares, while surge pricing could be anywhere between 5-15% according to the panel's recommendation.

Meter On 

  • 42,000 Total number of black-and-yellow cabs registered
  • 36,000 Black-and-yellow taxis on road
  • 94 kms Average distance travelled by a taxi daily
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