KATHMANDU : The Nepal government has started homework to classify vehicles operating as taxis into ordinary, deluxe and luxury categories based on their size, mechanical capacity and available facilities.
The Department of Transport Management (DoTM) has prepared a draft ‘Standards for Vehicles Used as Taxis, 2023’ to classify taxis into three categories and has requested for advice, suggestions and opinion consultation from stakeholders through e-mail and the department’s Facebook page within June 19.
According to the draft, taxis having a minimum engine capacity of 800cc or more while electric vehicles with minimum ratio of 0.012 between the energy stored in the battery (kilowatt hours) and the total weight of the vehicle will be categorised as ‘ordinary’. Such taxis should have at least a sound system (speaker) installed at the front and back of the vehicle for entertainment purposes.
Taxis with a minimum engine capacity of 2,000cc or more, and electric vehicles with a minimum ratio of 0.025 between the energy stored in the battery (kilowatt hours) and the total weight of the vehicle will be categorised as ‘luxury’. Such taxis should have a sound system (speaker) in front of the vehicle for entertainment, displays with at least two touchscreens for the rear row of seats, windows that open and close with electric switches and automatic climate control and air quality control systems, wireless internet facility, head rests, cup holders, reading lamps, DC or AC power outlet for charging electronic devices, among others.
Such classified taxis will have to paste a sticker indicating their classes for passengers to identify easily. Every taxi should have a classified mark on the upper corner of the front window towards the driver, on the right and left side of the rear window and on the right side corner of the rear window. The ‘O’ mark will be placed on taxis categories as ordinary, ‘D’ for deluxe taxis and ‘L’ for luxury taxis.
An additional light should also be installed on the roof of such taxis to indicate whether they are occupied or not. According to the draft, the light will be set to green when the taxi is free, red when it is occupied, and white when the vehicle is off-duty. Also, each taxi will have to instal a digital fare metre alongside a printer and a GPS navigation system with display.
The department has also proposed fare rates as per the classification of taxis. In the case of ordinary class taxis, the fare rate set by the government of Nepal will remain unchanged, while the fare rate of deluxe taxis will be 20 per cent higher than the ordinary ones. The department has also proposed a 100 per cent fare hike for luxury taxis compared to ordinary taxis.