Must Read:Say No to Ola/Uber Surge Pricing Scheme:Campaign in National Interest!

How do you feel when someone charges you as high as four times the normal fares agreed by you initially? Angry..This is what low cost taxi aggregators in the name of Ola and Uber are making you feel!

Uber provides three taxi options, depending on the number of passengers – uberGO, uberX and uberXL. The cheapest of the three, uberGO, has a base fare of Rs. 40 and charges Rs. 7 per km and Re. 1 per minute. Ola Mini, a uberGO equivalent from Ola, charges Rs.100 for the first 4km, and Rs. 8 per additional km. The ‘ride time charges’ are Re. 1 per min.

Here’s how much it will cost to travel a distance of 20 km with and without surge pricing (assuming travel time 1 hour, calculated based on the average travelling speed in Delhi as 20kmph)


uberGO Bill amount Effective per km rate
without surge pricing Rs. 240 Rs. 12
with surge pricing (1.2x) Rs. 288 Rs. 14.4
with surge pricing (2x) Rs. 480 Rs. 24
Ola Mini (all rates, minus service tax)
without surge pricing Rs. 288 Rs. 14.4
with surge pricing (1.2x) Rs. 345 Rs. 17.2
with surge pricing (2x) Rs. 576 Rs. 28.8


The taxi aggregators  initially say that they will charge  6Rs.(for eg.) but when you need them, you end up paying as high as Rs. 24 per km or even higher. Is not this cheating? No..not at all.. if you ask these taxi aggregator’s Spokesperson..They just want to be reliable to you and that is why they have increased their prices to Rs. 24 per km on a busy monday evening just to ensure that you..the customer..gets a cab for sure. Before Ola and Uber, you used to commute at say Rs. 8/12 per km or may be Rs 15/Rs 20(maximum) by a local taxi wala(In Delhi, the Govt. prescribed taxi rates are Rs. 12.50 per km for Economy Radio Taxis, Rs. 14 per km and Rs 16.00 per km for non-AC and AC yellow taxis respectively). Now you end up paying Rs. 24 per km by using sophisticated technology! And this does not end here. There can be surge in base fare as well as ride time charges. In future, these taxi aggregators are gonna loot Indians in the name of reliability. But, we Indians are not fool and we know the value of our hard earned money. We urge every Indian not to board Ola/Uber taxi even once when they try to charge you even a Rupee higher than their initial price. Even if they have commited for say Micro Car fare at Rs. 6 per km and on one working day, you find a taxi which is charging Rs. 7 per kilometre, please don’t board it. Please dont mind paying even Rs. 20 per km to an alternate taxi arrangement but please dont encourage these aggregators who will exploit you when you need the most in the name of reliability. Once Indians stop using Ola/Uber when they are charging higher amount, these aggregators will ultimately understand that who is dependent on whom and then they will stop using surge pricing.

The surge pricing mechanism of these aggregators kicks in when demand exceeds supply. During price surge, many people are even denied taxi. We have heard from many people who missed their flights or trains/buses etc. just because the driver did not turn up at the last moment. The price surge is driven by algorithms with rates getting revised upward or downward depending on the demand-supply gap. If there will be no demand, price surge  cannot occur and it all depends on us and not them.

For the latest ruling, a committee of the Ministry of Road, Transport, and Highways reviewed issues relating to taxi permits and recommended that the aggregators should be allowed surge or “dynamic” pricing within a certain range to match supply and demand.“Maximum tariff may be allowed up to four times that of minimum tariff from 12 midnight to 5 am in morning,” the committee ruled, adding that a “very high degree of variation in pricing should not be permitted as it may lead to exploitation of consumers in the time of crisis.”

The Indian government has released new norms regarding surge prices for cab aggregators like Uber and Ola. New norms by the Centre (December 2016) now allow cab aggregators to charge up to three times the minimum fare during the day, and up to four times between midnight and 5:00AM. The minimum fares that these aggregators plan, however, will have to be submitted to the state transport departments for approval.  Earlier in 2016, the Delhi High Court had banned surge pricing in NCR, and even down South, the Karnataka state government put a stop to Surge Pricing.


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