Bengaluru: Various government agencies are promoting car-pooling to beat the traffic, but the state RTO is going after shared taxis, terming them illegal. The Road Transport Office maintains that these app-based operators’ permits do not allow them to ferry multiple commuters for different destinations at one time.
But this has not gone well with the commuters, who have found the shared cab services by Uber and Ola quite helpful. Ms Dristhi Rupa, a commuter, said, “When four people are traveling in one vehicle instead of travelling separately in four vehicles, what is the issue with the RTO? They are promoting vehicle sharing, but have now suddenly found it illegal. Besides, it is safer than traveling alone.”
Agreeing with Dristhi, Mr Arvind Goswami said, “I feel safe when my sister is traveling in a shared cab. In this hot weather, people can travel comfortably at fairly reasonable fares, which is a welcome change. I don’t understand what’s the fuss all about.”
An RTO inspector insisted, “As shared cabs are illegal, we have started a drive against them. They have contract carriage and not state carriage permits and they cannot take up any other bookings until and unless their present contract with a commuter is over. We have already seized many vehicles.”
Transport Commissioner Ramegowda said, “All their services are literally illegal until they get the licences and follow all the norms under the new act. They need to have necessary permits to take up cab sharing. What if a co-passenger misbehaves with the other passengers? Who is going to take the responsibility? That is why we are asking them to set up a grievance cell, but in vain.”...