The year 2016 hasn’t been such a favourable one for app-based taxi aggregators like Ola and Uber etc. From their drivers being accused of molestation to them getting reprimanded from the Delhi government for charging inflated prices during the time of need, they have faced it all.
Adding a fresh lease of troubles to these companies, the Bengaluru government had recently imposed a de facto ban on their services. But, as people living in Bengaluru might be already aware of, the companies have decided not to follow the ban and are still operating in the city as usual. Seeing this defiance of their order, the Karnataka authorities have now given out a statement that these app-based cab aggregators cannot operate without a licence.
According to Transport Commissioner Rame Gowda’s statement to a national daily, they haven’t imposed any ban on operations of app-based taxi aggregators as of now. Currently, they have only asked those aggregators who are offering their services without a licence to stop their operations immediately.
According to industry experts, this move by the government can be seen as a strategic move of the transport department to force these app- based taxi aggregators to obey and follow the rules and regulations drafted for them by the department. According to the latest regulations, these operators are prohibited from increasing their rates when the demand is high, but as observed and experienced by many of us, they continue to practice this despite the strong disproval by the government.
The Karnataka On- Demand Transportation Technology Aggregators Rules, 2016 notified by the state government on April 2 lays down a number of regulations that these companies will have to follow. These include obtaining a legitimate licence to operate in the state and sticking to the fare chart laid down by the government. In short, the regulations disproves these aggregators surge-pricing model, which has, as predicted, attracted a lot of resentment from the companies.