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Uber suspends surge pricing, says availability of cabs will be hit

India TV Business Desk 19 Apr 2016, 21:14:29 PM IST
India TV Business Desk

New Delhi: Having suspended surge pricing in the Delhi-NCR region following a crackdown by the Delhi High Court and the government, taxi aggregator Uber today informed its users that its cabs may not be available as easily as earlier in wake of the fresh development. 

“Dear Rider, if you're seeing no cars available or longer wait time, that's because of suspension of surge. Surge ensures there's a car available at all times. While we're working hard on getting more cars out on the road, please switch to uberPOOL & help us utilise the existing cars better. Bear with us,” Uber said in a message to its users today. To deal with the current situation, Uber today urged the customers to switch to UberPOOL, an online service by Uber that provides car pooling facility.

Uber says it uses an algorithm to decide charges based on the availability of cars and the number of people seeking a ride. The higher the demand, higher the fare. The company justifies this algorithm saying it helps it maximise the number of rides.

The Delhi govt cracked its whip on Monday against the app-based taxi services by impounding 18 cabs of Ola and Uber for charging fares more than the prescribed rates during the odd-even car rationing period. The move followed a stern rap from the Delhi High Court seeking the government’s reply on the action it had initiated against those who violated the prescribed norms.

“When people are made to suffer the government cannot wash its hands and fail to take action. Government cannot be helpless,” Justice J R Midha noted.

The Delhi government’s action came following a directive in this regard by the government to the Transport department. Uber later announced temporary suspension of surge pricing in the Delhi-NCR region with immediate effect.   

With the odd-even scheme imposed in Delhi, commuters are finding it difficult to book cabs, as they were available easily before the suspension of surge pricing. Also, passengers are complaining about online cab providers showing fares up to five times higher that the normal fare.