Cab aggregators fasten their seat belts for odd-even road use scheme in the Capital

Mamuni Das New Delhi | Updated on November 02, 2019

Large cab aggregators, Uber and Ola, are bracing to pitch in to support the odd-even scheme. File Photo   -  The Hindu

Delhi government urges operators not to exploit the period to profiteer

Earlier this week, Quick Ride, a car-pooling service provider, used green-yellow bill-boards flanking the streets of Delhi, to seek the attention of the office-goers and other commuters calling them out to avail its app based service during the odd-even scheme, which will kick in during November 4-15.

The odd-even scheme, when private vehicles with odd and even registration numbers will be off the road on alternate days, is meant to limit number of vehicles on the road, so that the city’s severely polluted air can get somewhat cleaner.

Limiting price surge

Large cab aggregators, Uber and Ola, are also bracing to pitch in to support the scheme, while still making the most of it. ANI Technologies, the company that operates brand Ola, is waiving surge pricing during this period, BusinessLine has learnt. Uber has already committed that it will put a ceiling on surge price during the scheme, and not charge more than 1.5 times the base fare, according to the Delhi government.

The government has also requested other cab aggregators to limit surge pricing and cooperate during the road-use rationing scheme. Once a chunk of private cars go off roads on alternate days, there is bound to be a huge rush in demand for cabs which may push the fares skywards. The Delhi government has asked the cab aggregators not to profiteer during the phase.

Quick Ride has decided to waive the six per cent service fee that it deducts from the ride givers. At present, the car pooling service, sees an average occupancy of two per car in the Delhi market vis-a-vis 2.3 in other cities in India. Delhi is a relatively new market for Quick Ride where it entered late, which could be the reason for low occupancy, the company feels.

“We are looking forward to higher occupancy in the coming times,” Priyadarshi Singh, Director-Sales and Marketing-Delhi NCR, Quick Ride, told BusinessLine. And that trigger may come sooner, as during the restriction period, all cab-aggregators and pooling services are expecting a significant uptick in business volumes.

Delhi’s odd-even scheme is implemented to lower air pollution by cutting down number of private vehicles on the roads, traffic congestion, among others.

Exempted vehicles

Among the vehicles exempted from the rationing are two wheelers, those driven by women and having only women occupants and those that drop kids to schools.

The Delhi government, on its part, is trying to strengthen public transport to prevent inconvenience to public. The metro rail network has expanded over the last few years. Delhi Metro looks to run additional services and deploy more people if the crowd swells this year, according to sources. It did the same during previous years when odd-even schemes were implemented by the Delhi government.

It is also trying to make more buses available for daily commute. In fact, days before the odd-even scheme is launched, the Delhi government has allowed women to travel for free in the red, green and orange buses operated by Delhi Transport Corporation and Delhi Integrated Multimodal Transit System.

It is for the third time such road-use rationing scheme is being taken up in the last five years. But, this time more people will have to look for alternative ways to move – as government has decided to curb the use of CNG-fuelled vehicles under the odd-even scheme. They had been let off on earlier occasions as they are less polluting than petrol-diesel fuelled counterparts.

Published on November 02, 2019

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