Online cab operators will have to create public grievance cells where passengers and drivers can lodge their complaints, the state government said on Tuesday.
The online cab operators — known as On Demand Transportation Technology Aggregators (ODTTAs) — will have to inform the government of steps they have taken to resolve the grievances. Senior transport department officials will meet every three months to take a stock of the grievance redressals.
“We have been receiving several complaints both from the passengers and drivers about the functioning of ODTTAs for some time. We have asked the companies to open grievance redressal cells so that passengers and drivers can lodge their complaints,” Snehasis Chakraborty, Bengal’s transport minister, told The Telegraph.
The transport department had convened a meeting of all the stakeholders in the business of offering online transportation services on Tuesday to discuss some of the contentious issues, based on the complaints received mostly from passengers and a section of unions of online-cab drivers.
Senior officials in the department said they have been receiving complaints about how passengers of online cab services were being charged for the air-conditioning without the AC being switched on.
There were also complaints about how the fares were not in accordance with the guidelines that the maximum surge pricing will not be more than 50 per cent of the base fare.
The guidelines spelt out that the owner or driver of a vehicle with the aggregator will receive at least 80 per cent of the fare applicable.
“Most of the companies have not stuck to the 80 per cent fare-sharing deal. In many cases, drivers have been logged out of their IDs based solely on the complaints of passengers and the drivers have not been heard,” said Indranil Banerjee of the West Bengal Online Cab Operators Guild. “There is no place where one can lodge their grievances.”
Some of the ODTTA representatives present at the meeting said they would discuss the points among themselves and respond.
The government also decided on Tuesday that all bike taxi operators, who work on online platforms, will have to switch from private to commercial registration of their two-wheelers.
There are some 20,000-odd bike taxi operators, transport department officials said.
“To facilitate this switchover, we will organise camps across the city in transport department offices where one can turn up and get the registration done,” Chakraborty said.
“We want the operators to come under the legal framework.”