Some of the new rules could favor ride hailing services in some cases. They can’t charge more than 1.5 times the base fare with surge pricing, but they can also charge 50 percent to spur more trips. They can also offer carpooling using private cars, although drivers are limited to four intra-city rides per day and two inter-city rides per week.
This might produce a mixed result for drivers. While this could boost trust in the likes of Uber and Ola, Redseer partner Ujjwal Chaudhry warned it could actually hurt take-home income by limiting surge pricing and fees. It might also raise prices and extend wait times, Chaudhry said.
Whatever the outcome, there’s a good chance others will be looking closely. Companies like Uber and Lyft are coming under closer scrutiny for their practices, with California demanding that they treat drivers as employees instead of contractors with fewer protections. Whether they succeed or fail, India’s rules may set the tone for governments that either haven’t set their own guidelines or are looking at reforms.