Online cab aggregator Uber today said certain clauses in the draft Maharashtra City Taxi Rules will serve as speed bumps in its attempt to make life better for riders as well as drivers in the financial capital. Last month, the state government proposed regulations to govern the ride-sharing industry. While welcoming the government’s recognition of the industry, Uber in a statement said that “certain elements of the draft risk the very progress we have made in making life better for riders, drivers and the city itself”. The proposed stipulation that more than 50 per cent of the vehicles on ride-sharing platforms should be over 1400cc would result in disappearance of economical and fuel efficient vehicles from the platform, it said. “It also takes away the freedom and flexibility of drivers to have the vehicle of their choice, forcing them to buy more expensive cars which will in turn increase fares,” it said.
Moreover, the proposed steep increase in the price of permits for such cabs would create barriers in accessing economic opportunities by drivers, it said. “Also of concern are restrictions that put a cap on the minimum amount that can be charged for a trip, preventing market forces determining lower fares when possible,” it said. “Taken together, these moves strike at the heart of our promise of ensuring affordable and convenient rides to Mumbaikars whenever possible. They jeopardise the benefits ride-sharing bring, in terms of reduced congestion,” Uber added. Uber came to Mumbai in early 2014. The platform has been accessed by over 5.8 million people in the city and in Maharashtra so far. Uber’s online petition against stringent clauses in the draft rules had received one lakh signatures till yesterday evening.