If you’re a frequent user of UberPOOL and Olashare in Bangalore, then you might want to do some alternative arrangements for coming back from work from today onwards.
The state transport department had recently issued a 3-day deadline to these famous cab aggregators asking them to withdraw their ride-sharing services. The deadline was issued because these cab aggregators collect fare from the commuters for their ride-sharing services, which is completely against their permit conditions. But, with the 3-day deadline coming to an end yesterday, these ride-sharing services will be illegal from today onwards.
According to a statement given by the Commissioner for Transport and Road Safety, MK Aiyappa to a national economic daily, the department is not against carpooling by private car-owners as far as it does not involve any money transaction. He also added that if any driver is found continuing ride-sharing services from Friday onwards, a strict action will be taken against them.
Aiyappa also said that if during this 3-day deadline, these cab aggregators would have submitted a memorandum seeking a modification of the Karnataka Motor Vehicle Rules to accommodate ride-sharing in the contract carriage permit, he would have forwarded the same to the Government and the situation could have been avoided.
Uber and Ola launched their shared cab services, UberPOOL and Olashare respectively,
two years ago in the city of Bangalore, officially known as Bengaluru. Since then, UberPOOL has been successful in registering about one million users in Bengaluru. Currently, about 25 percent of Uber users in Bangalore make use of the cab aggregators’ ride-sharing services on a frequent basis. The city stands at the fifth position in the list of cities all across the world which make use of UberPOOL.
In the meanwhile, Uber has started an online public petition, urging its Bangalore users to come out in the support of its ride-sharing service, UberPOOL. According to Christian Freese, general manager, Uber Bangalore, in the two years of its operations, UberPOOL has been successful in preventing more than 93.64 lakh kilometres of unnecessary driving and has saved almost 4.40 lakh litres of fuel.
In an official statement on the controversy, Uber has said that UberPOOL is ‘within the framework of law’ as “UberPOOL is a product that enables driver partners to pick up and drop identified riders through the Uber App under a single contract. When a rider chooses UberPOOL through the Uber App, he/she consents to another person sharing the trip. The law permits a contract carriage permit holder to stop to pick up or set down passengers who are included in the contractual understanding with the driver.”
So, while the battle between these ride-sharing services and Bangalore’s Transport and Road Safety is most likely to continue in the court, it would be better if for the time being, you make alternative transportation arrangements that are considered legal by the government.