An On Demand Transportation Technology Aggregator is any entity that offers a digital (online or app based) platform/market place wherein individual taxi operators could offer their services and passengers can avail the same as and when required. With the onset and rapid mushrooming of several such On Demand Transportation Technology Aggregators in the metropolitans of India, proper regulation of such aggregators was a need of the hour due to the absence of a holistic legislation to govern their affairs.
On October 08, 2015, the Central Government had issued an advisory to the state governments to enact and enforce necessary rules to regulate the affairs of On Demand Transportation Technology Aggregators, promote their compliance to laws and ensure the safety of the passengers who avail their services.
Adhering to the Central Government’s advisory, several states such as Karnataka, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, West Bengal and the Union Territory of Chandigarh have issued draft rules for the abovementioned purposes which inter alia include the below mentioned provisions:
- License provisions: These provisions make it mandatory for aggregators to procure licenses from the respective authorities, state the period of validity of such licenses, application and renewal procedure and conditions to be satisfied to become eligible to procure such a license.
- Vehicle Profile provisions: These provisions lay down the minimum requirements and permits that each vehicle need to be equipped with such as an integrated GPS tracking unit in order to qualify to be enlisted as a taxi on a digital market place/ platform of an On Demand Transportation Technology Aggregator.
- Driver Profile provisions: These provisions lay down the qualifications of the drivers and the licenses/ permits that they have to procure in order to be eligible to drive taxis enlisted on a digital market place/ platform of an On Demand Transportation Technology Aggregator.
- General provisions: These provisions govern the miscellaneous aspects of the On Demand Transportation Technology Aggregator business such as areas of operation, maintenance of records, zero tolerance policies, etc.
- Penalties: These provisions lay down the procedural and substantive aspect of penalizing the On Demand Transportation Technology Aggregator and also the individual drivers for defaults and offences committed by them under these rules.
With the Karnataka High Court’s judgment dated November 10, 2016, upholding the constitutional validity of the Karnataka On Demand Transportation Technology Aggregator Rules, 2016, and the draft rules of the other states in pipeline, a strong regulatory framework to govern the operations of On Demand Transportation Technology Aggregators is soon expected to be in place in India.