Follow Rules Or Stay Off Roads, Bengaluru Government Tells Uber, Ola

BENGALURU:  Over the weekend, social media was abuzz with messages that taxi aggregators Uber and Ola had been banned by the Karnataka government. The truth is somewhat different.

In early April, the state government’s transport department had issued a set of regulations for app-based taxi companies – including issues from taxi signage on the vehicle to digital metres in each car. Despite the department giving a month’s time to comply, the two companies did not do so in all respects.

The transport department made it clear to the companies that they would not be allowed to operate if they did not meet all the requirements.

Uber sources told NDTV that talks were on with the government and they were hopeful of a positive resolution. They said that as per the directives, at least 100 vehicles of their fleet are fully in compliance with guidelines.

Ola officials were also in a meeting through the day. At no time, were taxis of the two companies off the road and the apps for both firms have been functioning.

HG Kumar, Additional Commissioner for Transport and Secretary of the State Transport Authority, told NDTV that Ola had complied with the directions and that the police verification of 35 Uber drivers was still pending. The department had asked for at least 100 vehicles of the fleet to be produced before department offices – all to be equipped with a GPS – among other requirements.

App-based taxi companies have changed the way many people commute in cities. And so far people in Bengaluru have not been affected – as they would certainly have been if the companies had indeed been banned. But the department is clear it will not hesitate to keep firms off the roads if they do not comply with the rules.

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