Your car may fetch you a little bit of moolah everyday if a new proposal to allow ride-sharing on private cars comes through.
The proposal, made ostensibly as an answer to the growing traffic congestion and pollution, is pending with the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, and a dialogue with stakeholders is underway.
A senior executive of a cab aggregator told BusinessLine that they have proposed changes in the Motor Vehicles Act to allow private cars to share rides, with a component of monetary incentive attached.Sticky issue
That, however, has become a sticky issue with the government. A senior government official in the know told BusinessLine : “We are in favour of any move that can reduce congestion and vehicular pollution. But there are a few points under consideration. First, private vehicles cannot be allowed to ply for commercial purposes, as there is a question of revenues and taxes. Further, what kind of tariff model would be followed? Would private cars be allowed unlimited rides or would it be restricted to two or three a day?”
At the same time, the official confirmed that the matter was under consideration and the government was keen on bringing out regulations to resolve the issue, which is currently falling within the cracks of the law.Regulations
“It is not illegal for private cars to share rides on an informal basis right now. But, it needs to be regulated if they have to come under apps,” the official said, adding that companies have been asked to respond to some of the concerns that have been raised.
Shweta Rajpal Kohli, Head - Public Policy, Uber India, told BusinessLine : “If we aspire for every journey in Delhi to be a shared journey, we need to use private cars for the public good. There are over 2.7 million cars in Delhi today, but less than 100,000 (commercial vehicles with yellow number plates) are eligible to use ride-sharing apps like Uber. We have over 5 million riders in Delhi-NCR who can immediately be encouraged to share their rides with appropriate government support for this. We would like to work with the government to make this a reality.”
According to Kohli, Uber’s carpooling service has shown tremendous benefits. She said the UberPOOL service, first launched in Bengaluru in September 2015, followed by Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai, has seen an uptick in takers. Approximately, 31 per cent of the trips on Uber are on UberPOOL, the company said.
Massive environmental benefits apart, these companies have a lot to gain from such a move.
Last year, some companies allowed private car-owners to register on their apps and pick up travellers on their routes — much like cab drivers.
According to one such car-owner who utilised the service, for every ride he made, for which the lowest tariffs were applicable, the company would take 15-20 per cent cut, besides taxes. The owner, however, said that for the time he used the app, before the service was discontinued, he would make up for his fuel expenses.
However, an industry source said that under the existing rules, private car-owners cannot be economically incentivised to adopt ride-sharing and the rules around such usage aren’t clear.