The new fares will come into effect immediately. The previous tariff revision was in 2018.
The per-km tariff for journeys beyond 4km will have to be within the minimum and maximum fares prescribed for each class in the notification. The hike in per-km tariff is in the range of 35% to 75%.
The decision comes close on the heels of a driver immolating himself on Tuesday over rising fuel costs and based on requests made by drivers.
Radio taxis, as defined in the Karnataka On-Demand Transportation Technology Aggregators Rules, will also be able to charge based on the price of vehicles classified into four classes. The fare structure is classified into four categories as per the cost of the vehicles, with A being highest (more than Rs 16 lakh) and D being the lowest (up to Rs 5 lakh).
“As fuel prices are increasing from time to time and the cost of maintenance and price of vehicles are considerable, the Centre regularly advises the state transport authority to regulate fares for different types of taxis operating under the aggregator rules,” said a transport department official.
The notification provides for a free waiting time of 20 minutes that will help commuters, with a charge of Rs 10 for every 15 minutes of waiting after this period will be allowed for operators. It bars fares based on journey time and dynamic pricing.
On Tuesday, a 34-year-old cab driver, Pratap, set himself ablaze inside his cab. Pratap, attached to airport taxi service of Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation, sustained 70% burns and succumbed later. The incident led to protests from cab drivers since their deceased colleague was struggling to pay EMIs with a thinning KSTDC client pool and losing business to Ola and Uber. In contrast to the Rs24 per kilometer fixed government fare that KSTDC charges, Ola and Uber operate at under Rs 10 per km.
In February, the government hiked fares of city taxis, which are not operated by aggregators such as Uber and Ola, from Rs 14.5 per km to Rs 18 per km for non-AC cabs and from Rs 19.5 per km to Rs 24 per km for AC cabs.
Many drivers welcomed the move. In the light of frequent increase in fuel rates, vehicle prices, rising bank interest rates, and increasing maintenance cost along with expenses incurred in the form of drivers’ salaries and other variables, drivers hail the decision to hike fares as a necessary one.