Karnataka govt bans carpooling by Ola and Uber

 Ola Share and UberPOOL, the ride-sharing features by the two aggregators, enjoy the popularity of the commuters and have been hailed as practical solutions for traffic congestions. Reuters file photo

The transport authority on Friday imposed a ban on carpooling and told taxi aggregators Ola and Uber to comply with the rule immediately. 

After a meeting called to address the concerns of drivers working with the aggregators, Transport Commissioner VP Ikkeri said that action would be taken against the firms that facilitate carpooling as and when such violations are brought to the notice of the officials. 

"Ola and Uber have to follow the licence rules and any additional feature should be introduced only after getting the backing of the law," he said. 

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. 

Ikkeri, however, said they were not against carpooling. "The state government has written to the Centre seeking such a rule change. The rules have to apply to the aggregators and all concerned issues should be addressed before allowing their legal operation," he said. 

Drivers complained that both Ola and Uber pay them a pittance for ridesharing trips. Vijaykumar Gowda, leader of a drivers' union, welcomed the move.  

Tanveer Pasha, who heads another association of drivers, said that they would wait two days for the companies to enforce the ban. "If there is a violation of the ban, we will submit a petition with evidence and seek action against the company," he said.

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