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Kerala Govt. Policy to regulate online cab operators (Relevant for GS Paper II, Topic: Cab regulations)

Who are Regulated?
Stringent licensing norms to cap fares and to reign in motor cab operators and drivers and a host of safety features for riders have been spelled out in the Transport Aggregator Policy aimed at regulating those providing ‘on demand Information Technology-based transportation’.

Provisions
1. Online taxi aggregators will have to secure licence from the State Transport Authority (STA) within three months of commencement. 

2. Motor vehicles should have digital fare meters with printer, GPS, Web or mobile application for grievance redressal.

3. facility for the rider to contact two persons and the local police.

4. The licensee should have a 24 x 7 call centre, operational telephone number and should provide e-mail address of grievance redressal officer and ensure that all journeys are booked only via the aggregator IT-based platform. 

5. The licensee will have to provide the list of drivers with driving licence, badge number and registration details, chassis number of vehicles on quarterly basis to the STA.

6. Rs. 1 lakh will be charged for issuance or renewal of license. Renewed license will be valid for 3 years.

7. The drivers can register or log into multiple online cab aggregators. They will not be compelled to drive a minimum number of hours.

8. On receiving complaint, the erring driver will be suspended and the driver will be deactivated from the platform.

Reasons for introduction
The ‘Kerala On-Demand IT-based Transportation Scheme 2016’ comes against the backdrop of the mushrooming of the online taxi operators, increasing grievances from riders and skirmishes with taxi operators.

Status of Policy
Policy chalked out by the Motor Vehicles Department, based on the guidelines of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MORTH), has been forwarded to the government for approval.



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