ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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A Note on Autorickshaw Fare Regulation in India

Autorickshaws are one of the only privately-owned public modes of transport in Indian cities to be tightly regulated by the state. An investigation into the nature of regulation, wages and fares in the autorickshaw industry reveals some elementary and glaring oversights.

Autorickshaws refer to the three-wheeled motorised vehicles used to transport passengers or goods, variously known as three-wheeled scooter rickshaws (TSR) or light motor vehicles–passenger (LMV–Passenger). They constitute a type of Intermediate Public Transport (IPT) or para-transit among the different modes of transportation found in Indian cities. As of 2015, there were over 50 lakh autorickshaws operational in India (MoRTH 2016: 31). However, for such an ubiquitous form of transportation, autorickshaws appear to be largely neglected when it comes
to policy regulation, and this engenders significant difficulties for those who drive these vehicles (Mohan and Roy 2003).

Autorickshaws play a unique role in India’s transportation ecosystem due to their ability to provide flexible services and last mile connectivity. Autorickshaws are also often at the centre of colourful bargaining marked by exasperation and frustration for both patrons and drivers alike. While anecdotal accounts may attest to many positive and negative aspects about autorickshaws, there have been few concerted attempts into studying this sector as a legitimate source of employment. This article makes a small contribution to bridge this gap and investigates the nature of regulation, wages, and fares in the autorickshaw industry from a labour and employment perspective. In the process, it finds some elementary and glaring oversights in the regulation of this sector. The examination is limited to four metropolitan cities—namely Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai, and New Delhi.

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Updated On : 10th Jan, 2018

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