New Delhi, 18 April 2016. Taxi apps Uber and Ola have stopped surge pricing after a firm warning was issued by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal against taxis trying to take advantage of the new round of traffic restrictions dubbed the "odd-even" scheme.
With Delhi getting back to school and work today after a long weekend, the government is under pressure to ensure adequate public transport for commuters grappling with "odd-even".
Uber said in a statement that surge pricing - or higher fares - when demand rises, is standard. "Airlines and hotels are more expensive during busy times. Uber is as well," the company said in a statement, adding, "Given the threat of the Delhi government to cancel permits and impound vehicles of our driver partners, we are temporarily suspending surge in Delhi with immediate effect."
Ola also said, "We've temporarily pulled out Peak Pricing in Delhi in support of the government's odd-even initiative" which ends on April 30.
The odd-even scheme, an attempt to check air pollution, bans private cars on alternate days. Cars with odd-numbered license plates are allowed to run on odd dates, with even-numbered cars permitted for the other days. Sundays are a free-for-all.
The scheme was first implemented at the start of the year for a fortnight; its second instalment began last week.
A strike threatened by an auto and taxi union affiliated to the RSS or Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh, was averted last night with government negotiations. The RSS is the ideological parent of the BJP, which lost the Delhi elections by a landslide to Mr Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party or AAP.