India needs more competition in hail-cab services: Gadkari

Our Bureau | Updated on November 02, 2018 Published on November 01, 2018

Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari

Ever wondered how the cab aggregators decide on their dynamic pricing policies—the extent of increase, how should it increase? Ola Cabs goes by state government rules – like Delhi and Karnataka – wherever they exist, said an industry source. The company did not discuss the issue.

Asked about transparency in the flexifare policy of Ola in a conference here, Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said he would like hundreds of companies like Ola to operate in India so that there is more competition in the area. Broadly, fares for cab aggregation have gone up in last one year in India, industry source added. The Minister launched Ola's Mobility Institute study (refer to OMI pointers for findings).

As drivers seek to get more bookings, the Minister said it is an equilibrium that will have to established. With increase or decrease in cab bookings, drivers get paid the same amount of commission, maintained an industry source aware of the contract details between drivers and Ola.

Incidentally, Ola’s 2018 Ease of Moving Index report has also shared an interesting insight from its Big Data Analytics, which is based on the mine of data it collects from its vehicles. Ola's Cabs, which have the infotainment units, have special sensors that find out the extent of bumps and potholes that city roads have. This data is collected in seven cities where such cab services are offered.

This information can be used by public policy, consumer groups, and government officials, among others.

Meanwhile, OMI Ease of Moving Index study, which was done by a third party institute and found that urban mobility is going digital -- with 55 per cent of commuters who use public transport owning smart cards, and over 40 per cent transact digitally while using intermediary public transport such as cabs and auto-rikshaws.

Almost 80 per cent of Indians feel that overall mobility has improved in the last five years. It is not yet clear whether cab aggregators like -- Ola Cabs and Uber -- which are cab hailing companies can be classified as a public transport service provider.

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Published on November 01, 2018
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