Cab aggregator Uber on Saturday proposed measures to address concerns expressed by the West Bengal government over its fare policy, including “self-regulation” of dynamic pricing to minimise impact on riders. The West Bengal Transport Department, based on complaints from users on exorbitant fares during peak hours, had reportedly sent a 30-point questionnaire to Uber and another ride hailing firm Ola, seeking response on the surge pricing mechanism.
In a statement, the US-based Uber said, “We have submitted our response to the West Bengal Transport Department and enumerated the measures that we have decided to initiate to address the concerns of the government, and by extension, our riders.”
“During periods when there is a high imbalance in the availability of Ubers vis-a-vis the number of people requesting a ride, we propose to self-regulate the dynamic pricing multiplier between 1.9x to 2.9x to minimise impact on riders,” Regional GM (India & South Asia) Prabhjeet Singh was quoted as saying in the statement.
The company also said it provides free trips to hospitals, ensures flat fares to public transport hubs and has introduced weekly or monthly subscription-based commuter passes. Uber said that in the interest of expanding availability of transportation options for Kolkata, it has put forth a few suggestions to the state government around simplifying processes and costs for bike-taxi permits, as well as commercial four-wheeler permits.
Among other recommendations, the cab aggregator said the state government should look at introducing more schemes like ‘Gatidhara’ to spur entrepreneurship, and consider deregulation of city taxis to equip them with the benefits of technology.