Ola and Uber may have to soon pull one of their most popular services in Karnataka after the state s transport department declared the ride-sharing services to be illegal. According to the state s transport laws, these cab aggregators have contract carriage permits which do not allow them to pick-up or drop-off passengers enroute. The cab aggregators have been asked to stop their services by Thursday, and submit proposals if they wished to continue operating the said services in the state. Also Read - Ola to offer free oxygen concentrators to the needyAlso Read - Ola India set to launch first electric scooter in 2021
According to the Karnataka transport department, carpooling requires a different permit, which these cab aggregators do not have. The permits, which these firms have, allow only point-to-point rides and not multiple pick up or drop of passengers in a single trip. Ola and Uber have reportedly asked for three days to comply and may give proposals suggesting changes to the Motor Vehicles Act, Bloomberg Quint reports. Also Read - Uber cab service resumed in 31 cities in India with new Lockdown 4.0 guidelines
As per the Motor Vehicles Act, today the contract carriage can only operate between one point to another and cannot pick up and drop passengers in between. What they are doing is they are picking up passengers and are dropping them in between the trip and that is not allowed. So, they can only do car-pooling from point A to Point B, MK Aiyappa, Karnataka Transport Commissioner is quoted as saying.
Last week, Aiyappa had termed the ride-sharing services illegal in the state, and had asked the cab aggregators to apply for a license. However, Aiyappa said that the state government could consider making changes in the Act if found in public interest. He further said, The cab aggregators have asked for three days to comply. They may give proposals suggesting changes to the Act. We will take up the proposal with the state government. ALSO READ: Google Maps now lets you book an Uber ride in India, here s how it works
Cab aggregators like Ola and Uber have been at odds with the state transport department, especially since these services impact state-run bus services in the region. However, Ola and Uber argue that their ride-sharing services Ola Share and Uber POOL has been widely accepted by consumers for the sheer convenience and affordability it offers. Additionally, it helps in reducing traffic congestion in a city.
While the Karnataka transport department has said it wasn t against ride-sharing services, it reiterated that the existing rules don’t allow them in the city and that the cab aggregators must apply for license to be able to ply their services. In the past, both Ola and Uber have faced a similar stand-off with the Karnataka transport regulator over their bike-taxi service. The aggregators had to eventually pull the service from the city.