Friday, December 14, 2012

A Fair Way to Set Taxi Fares

There are hardly any taxis visible in North Delhi. None of the autos I used were ready to go with a meter. There is a perception and discomfort of feeling cheated.

As I sat in the train, having made it just in time in spite of starting fairly early, I wonder if the problem lies with the way the fares are set.

The standard way of setting taxi fare is via the distance travelled and a small component for waiting charges. Perhaps in congested environments, this just is not fair to the driver. It may be useful for regulators to consider the taxi fares as two distinct components - the operating cost and the earnings for the driver. The former can be based primarily on the distance travelled. The latter, however, should be on the hourly wage a driver should earn to have a comfortable life.

If that happens, may be drivers will go by the meter and not grumble or refuse trips passing through congested areas. And the passengers man not mind the driver taking a longer detour which saves time.

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