What you need to know if you use online cab booking services

5 min read
July 31, 2019
online cab booking services

India is developing at a fast rate currently. In all avenues, we as a country have made tremendous progress. Transportation included.

The sudden boom of cab services in India has led to a lot of travel independence. But with this boom also came the flood of complaints of harassment, surge pricing and sometimes lack of security.

As a rider, you should know about your rights if you need to submit a complaint against cab-hailing services.


The top contenders

The top cab-hailing services in Delhi NCR are OLA, Uber, Meru cabs, Mega cabs, Easycabs, TaxiForSure, and Carzonrent.

Duties of a cab service provider in Delhi NCR

If you have ever hired a cab that made you feel unsafe or if your wallet has felt too light after the trip, read on.

To help the new age riders, the government has implemented a few laws to protect our interests.

  • Uniformed Drivers – It is mandatory for the cab driver to wear a specific uniform and a PSV (Public Service Vehicle) badge.
  • Logos – The taxi aggregator’s logo is mandatory in the car.
  • Police Verification – A comprehensive background check for all the drivers is mandatory.
  • Panic Button – A visible panic button inside all cabs is essential. The inbuilt SOS feature on the cab hire app is not be counted under this category.
  • No Monopoly – The city taxi service scheme limits the number of taxis one can own, for a city taxi license, to 2,500.
  • Fuels Used – The Supreme Court mandated that all public vehicles should run on clean fuels like CNG/LPG/Electric only.
  • GPS Tracking System – All the cabs should be enabled with a proper GPS tracking system.
  • Money Matters – All taxi-hailing services need to follow a government-approved fare.

According to the new drafts of Delhi Road Safety Policy and City Taxi Scheme, 2017, cab aggregators will have to register a case with the police if a customer files a complaint of molestation against the driver. If that is not done, a fine of Rs 1 lakh will be charged from the cab operator.


The top contenders

Amongst the best available cab services in Mumbai and Pune are OLA, Uber, Meru cabs, TABcab and Easycab.

Apart from these, the iconic kaali-peeli taxis throng the streets of Mumbai and are a favorite amongst the locals.

Essentials to run a cab-service business in Mumbai & Pune

Apart from the rules already mentioned in the Delhi section, the government of Maharashtra has drafted a few additional ones.

  • Operational Infrastructure – A different color scheme for app-based taxis needs to be followed while the black and yellow taxis can continue with the original color scheme.
  • Feedback – A physical feedback register should be kept in the taxi at all times.
  • No street hails – The state city taxi rules say that the cab cannot accept any street hails which are not booked via the app.
  • Windows – Tinted glass, curtains or films on the windows are a complete no-no.
  • Helpline – Helpline numbers (RTO, women helpline, etc) should be prominently displayed in the cab.

Apart from these, the rules mentioned in the Delhi section also stand true for Mumbai & Pune


The top contenders

Amongst the top app-based cab services in Kolkata are Ola, uber, BookMyCab, Clear Car Rental, Meru cabs, and Mega cabs.

Like the black cabs of London, we have our classic yellow taxis of Kolkata.

What are the prerequisites for the cab-hailing services in Kolkata?

Other than the rules already mentioned above, every cab in Kolkata must have a working CCTV installed inside the car.


The top contenders

Uber, Ola, Meru Cabs, Bangalore Taxi, KSTDC, CarzOnRent, and SpotTaxi are currently operating in the state.

Rules every cab-operator needs to adhere by in Bengaluru

  • Residency – The cab driver must be a resident of Karnataka for at least five years.
  • OTP – A ride will not commence unless the rider shares the one-time password with the driver.
  • Language – The driver should be able to speak two languages – Kannada and English (preferably).
  • Meters – The cabs must have electronic fare meters that can generate a physical receipt in case the app cannot send the invoice via SMS or email.
  • Control room – The aggregator must operate a 24×7 control room that can track the taxi’s GPS (which should be tamper-proof).
  • Cancellation of license – In Karnataka, the license of the driver will be canceled if he charges extra for ‘peak-time’.

Like Delhi, a panic button inside the cab is a must.

How can you hire a cab?

Like our food, we can now order cabs on our phone.

You can hire a taxi by downloading the service provider’s Android or iOS app on your smartphone. Register with your phone number and email ID. That’s it, you’re done.

Can you cancel a cab?

Yes, you can.

A cancellation fee will be charged if the booking request is cancelled after 5 minutes of the driver accepting the ride request or if he has already arrived at the pickup location.

In some apps like Uber, the cancellation fee also depends on the category of your ride.

When can they not charge you a cancellation fee?

You cannot be charged with a cancellation fee if the driver is late by more than 5 minutes.

What to do when the driver cancels the ride? 

Surprisingly there are a lot of complaints on the internet claiming that Uber/Ola have charged cancellation fees even when the driver cancelled. This left the users baffled and angry. 

If you have ever been charged wrongly, you can get a refund from their site. Uber reverses the amount as credit and you can use it for your next ride.

Is it legal to share a cab?

With the high cost of living in a metropolitan, we are sure most of us have opted for an Uber pool or OLA share at least once. But the ride-sharing option might be banned soon.

According to the City Taxi Scheme, 2017, it is not permitted legally. Presently, taxis can only be hired from one point to another and cannot pick/drop passengers on the way.

Bye-Bye Discrimination

The cab aggregators will be charged a hefty fine if the driver discriminates on the basis of caste, creed, gender, religion or disability.

What else?

  • The Consumer Protection Act, 2018 permits an aggrieved consumer to file consumer cases in an appropriate consumer forum against a defaulting cab service.
  • Also, a cab aggregator must not own or lease any vehicle, employ any driver or represent themselves as a taxi service, unless they are registered as a taxi operator.
  • In Kerala, a request has been made to set up surveillance systems inside cabs, so that the police can track the vehicle through GPS.
  • Vehicles with an All India Tourist Permit cannot accept passengers through app-based services within the city.
  • An operator must have adequate parking space for the vehicles.

To know more about your rights, head on to Resolver’s detailed guide on what to do when you encounter an issue with a cab booking service.

With inputs from Nishtha Sethi

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