Transport authorities claim Ola and Uber licence rules do not permit carpooling.Any additional feature can be introduced only after getting the required permission
BENGALURU: Under pressure from taxi drivers association, the transport authority on Friday imposed a ban on carpooling and told taxi aggregators Ola and Uber to suspend such services with immediate effect.
A meeting was called on Friday to address the concerns of drivers working with the aggregators, Transport Commissioner V.P. Ikkeri said to media that action would be taken against operators who carry out carpooling as and when such violations are brought to their notice. The two cab aggregators have been told to remove carpooling option from their mobile app.
"This was the request from the drivers association that Ola and Uber have to follow the licence rules and any additional feature should be introduced only after getting the backing of the law," a senior RTO official told Deccan Chronicle.
Ola Share and UberPOOL, the ride-sharing features from the two aggregators, enjoy popularity among commuters and have been hailed as practical solutions to traffic congestion.
The transport authority's previous attempt to ban the carpooling feature in 2017 saw opposition from transport experts. But the taxi drivers association has repeatedly opposed these services.
Ola, Taxiforsure and Uber Drivers and Owners Association President Tanveer Pasha told Deccan Chronicle, "These aggregators cannot run any vehicle on its platform, as per the rules. But they did not bother to follow it. They ran a bike taxi service using private own-use vehicles and also carpooling, which is against the licence norms. Finally, it has been banned and we will wait for two days to see whether they stop. If not then we will go to the next level. We are satisfied with a positive response from RTO and also request that the government not to lift the ban. Otherwise we will again start an agitation."
The state government has written to the Centre seeking a rule change.