The Mumbai division of Uber, the American international transportation network company, which operates the Uber mobile app, which allows consumers to submit a taxi request, has launched an online petition and a digital campaign against the proposed Draft City Taxi Scheme by the Maharashtra government. The petition urges passengers to express their dissent on the proposed scheme which will adversely affect them as well.
The scheme was available for public comments until October 31, 2015.
An official note from the company also states that government-controlled, artificially inflated fares designed to protect the incumbent taxi industry will compel consumers to pay higher fares.
The Draft City Taxi Scheme also requires vehicle owners, the drivers that is, to comply with tedious requirements like the installation of physical panic buttons in vehicles, physical metres, rooftop indicators and printed receipts.
"We have proposed more efficient solutions to long-standing problems," states a blog post from the company.
Unlike Meru, or other cab operators, online cab hailing services like Ola and Uber do not come under Radio Taxi scheme owing to their unique business models.
Both these companies do not own their fleet of cabs or employ drivers; they simply connect the rider (consumer) with the cab via their mobile app.
Uber has been promoting the petition by launching a digital campaign on the proposed scheme. The campaign has garnered over 5,000 likes, 380 shares on Facebook, over 200 retweets on Twitter and over 18,000 video views so far.
The company has urged the Government of Maharashtra to adopt a separate, progressive regulatory framework, designed for on-demand mobility platforms.
Meanwhile, the Government of India has issued a separate advisory body for On-Demand Technology Platforms. The central advisory provides a holistic regulatory framework for state transport departments.