Ola, Uber get three days to shut down ride-sharing

Ola, Uber get three days to shut down ride-sharing

Official says car-pooling violates law, but firms can apply to resume service

Ola, Uber get three days to shut down ride-sharing
Transport authorities on Monday gave app-based cab aggregators Ola and Uber three days to shut down ride-sharing but said they could resume the service after getting permission from the state government.

Transport Commissioner M K Aiyappa said Ola Share and uberPOOL, which involve picking up individual passengers from different locations and dropping them at the destination of their choice, violated the Motor Vehicles Act. “These operators work with contract carriage permit, which means they cannot pick up passengers from different locations. They agreed that the share service was illegal and sought three days to stop it,” he added.

The official, however, said that under 66.3J of the transport rules, a change could be made in the permit if it was in public interest. “We are not against the cab share service. If it is in the interest of people, let the companies approach us with a request. We will forward their case to the state government which will take a decision,” he said.

When it was brought to his notice that the share service involves security issues, Aiyappa said the cab aggregators should first get permit for the feature and that the issue of security would be taken up later.

Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy, however, told DH that the companies needed to prove that their service benefited the people. “It is the government’s job to serve the people. If there is any provision in law (allowing permission for stage carriage), we will consider their request,” he said.

The minister said the app-based cab aggregators followed the rule only when it was forced on them. “They have run the share service illegally for all these days. Now, they are being forced to approach us. Why can’t they take permit before starting such a service,” he said.

Ola and Uber drivers have said the cab sharing service lacked safety guidelines. “In case an individual assaults a woman passenger or robs a fellow rider, drivers will be held responsible. Why should we suffer for the mistake of a passenger,” asked Tanveer Pasha, leader of a drivers’ union.

When asked why the Transport Department had allowed the share services for months, the commissioner said they didn’t have any complaints or information in that regard. “Now, we have given three days. After that, we will crack down on cabs offering share services without permit,” he said.