Nearly six lakh ‘kaali-peeli’ taxis will soon get a new lease of life with the government formulating rules to let them attach with taxi aggregators such as Ola and Uber.
Estimating that a taxi does the job equivalent to 8-10 personal cars in a day, the government feels that more taxis should be allowed to ply on the roads which would also mean less congestion on roads and less pollution. Allowing kaali-peelis to ply on the road to their fullest potential using app-based technology would also help improve the travelling experience and lead to higher economic activity among a large number of people.
“We are of the view that if the city taxis are willing, these can also be aggregated. But they have to comply with all local regulations and fuel norms of the states they would ply in,” said a transport ministry official.
Once the mainstay of city travelling, kaali-peelis gradually lost their dominance to Ola and Uber failing to rise to the expectations of commuters — be it relation to punctuality or cleanliness and comfort. Availability and metering have also been issues that did not go down well with a section of commuters earning a decent living. Ola and Uber filled these gaps and took their majority business away.
The official, however, said the kaali-peelis would have to pay a permit fee to the states if they were to attach with the aggregators and the fee should be equitable across the country. They will also have to abide by the fare norms to be set by the states. However, they might also be allowed to surge, but with certain restrictions.
In its draft city taxi rules, the Maharashtra government has recently proposed to allow kaali-peelis to attach with the aggregator platform.