State tells Ola, Uber to withdraw carpooling

State tells Ola, Uber to withdraw carpooling

Bengaluru: The state transport authority on Friday banned the hugely popular ride-sharing feature offered by Ola and Uber citing violation of licence conditions.

Asking the two taxi aggregators to withdraw the feature immediately, Transport Commissioner V P Ikkeri said action would be taken against aggregators as and when violations are brought to the notice of officials.

“Ola and Uber have to stick to the licence conditions and the rules. Any additional feature can be introduced only after getting legal provisions for the same,” he said after attending a meeting called to address the concerns of Ola and Uber drivers.

However, the ban only applies to OlaShare and UberPOOL and not to ride-sharing offered by non-commercial platforms such as Quick Ride.

Ikkeri said the state government had “written to the Centre” seeking changes to the rules to include ride-sharing. “Law has to be amended to include such services by aggregators and all issues should be sorted out before allowing their legal operation,” he said, adding the department is not against ride-sharing.

While the feature was never legalised, the transport authority, which attempted to ban the feature in April 2017, woke up to the problem after drivers’ unions complained about loss of rightful earnings.

Vijaykumar Gowda, leader of a drivers union, welcomed the move. “We can’t even recover the fuel cost in ride sharing. We hope the government will ban it forever,” he said.

Tanveer Pasha, who heads an association of drivers, said, “If there is a violation of the ban, we will submit a petition with evidence and seek action against the company.”

A spokesperson for Ola declined to respond to the ban. There was no response from Uber.