'Transport ministry to issue guidelines for carpooling'

Union transport ministry to issue guidelines for carpooling in a month: Report

The new norms will provide a formal framework granted by the Centre that will help the companies in expanding their services

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The Union Road Transport and Highways Ministry is all set to announce guidelines for carpooling in the country, particularly concerning pooling services offered by private vehicle owners. The new norms are unveiled to tackle pollution issues and decongest metros.

In addition to cab aggregators Ola and Uber, other app-based services for carpooling include Quick Ride, redBus, and BlaBlaCar. The new norms will provide a formal framework granted by the Centre that will help the companies in expanding their services and reducing hassles from state-specific norms. The rules will also extend a blanket all-India structure for carpooling and services related to it.

“The norms for ridesharing through non-transport private vehicles will be released in a month. The idea is to encourage adoption of shared mobility, via cars or bikes. After this, states will have to implement it at their own discretion," Mint reported quoting a government source.

The Centre's rules with a larger framework involving cab aggregators were due last year, but due to Covid-19 pandemic, the announcement was delayed.

Carpooling is an efficient way of commuting to places as it reduces commuting expense, traffic and also the impact of vehicular pollution on the environment. Anybody with a vehicle can offer rides to neighbours, or co-workers, who travel frequently on a similar route. This results in cost-cutting for both parties. 

Last month, Uber introduced 'commute' service which matches people within similar neighbourhoods and helps them connect with others who commute on similar routes.

Redbus chief executive Prakash Sangam welcomed regulations. Any rule that is not overbearing or difficult to implement is acceptable, he told the publication.

The Ministry had completed discussing the matter with states and other stakeholders. The service offering will not be commercial and there will be a limit on the number of rides offered by a car owner.

Rameesh Kailasam, who heads IndiaTech, a think tank, told the publication, “While it is important to have elements of safety and security, such a policy should also encourage monetization to make it viable."