Web-based taxi operators agree to obtain transport permits

Web-based taxi operators agree  to obtain transport permits

Taxi operators using web-based applications to provide services have decided to fall in line with State Transport Department guidelines by registering with the authorities and obtain permits to ply in the City.

“Our goal of bringing the aggregation model of taxi operations—followed by Ola, Taxi For Sure, Uber and other operators—under the ambit of the Transport Department by registering them is mostly achieved as the operators have decided to follow the recent directives of the Transport Department in this regard,” a senior official in the Transport Department who attended a high-level meeting on Saturday told Deccan Herald. 

The meeting chaired by Transport Department Principal Secretary P Ravi Kumar was held at the Transport Commissioner’s office. Representatives of 11 taxi operator firms using the aggregation model, including Uber, Ola and Taxi For Sure, attended the meeting.

“We discussed various issues, including the issue of registration by the aggregate taxi operators. They have promised to register with us and follow the recent 25-point condition chart issued by us,” Transport Commissioner Rame Gowda told Deccan Herald.

Though no major decision was taken, all those present at the meeting felt the need for a uniformed code to regulate the two types of taxi services in the City– traditional operators and aggregate taxi operators.

The traditional taxi operators opposed the aggregate taxi operators.

They said aggregate taxi operators were attracting customers by offering lowest possible fares which has adversely affected the traditional taxi industry. They demanded a ban on the aggregate taxi service in the City limits raising safety and security issues, sources said.
However, the demand was not accepted at the meeting.

The Transport Department decided to treat the aggregate taxi operators as a  type of taxi operator.

The officials also said that they have no powers to ban such services. Finally, it was agreed to have a uniformed code to regulate both service providers.

“The aggregate taxi operators referred to a High Court direction on November 22, 2013 that state permit taxis could be operated in the City limits. The department would consider all issues and come to a final decision shortly,” Rame Gowda said.

There are 11 operators using the aggregation model and 71,245 cabs and taxis registered in the state. Of them, 3,539 have City permits.

However, officials said that of the 71,000 cabs registered with state permits, many are plying as City taxis in violation of rules.

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