No move to ban ride-sharing services in city, says govt.

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In the backdrop of the confusion about the status of cab ridesharing in Bengaluru, rumours are doing the rounds regarding the fate of carpooling services offered by aggregators in the city.

Following the successful launch of Ola ridesharing in January 2016 in Chennai, Uber too jumped in with Uberpool in September. Uber also started an aggressive ‘#SwitchtoPOOL’ campaign to promote the service. Both the taxi aggregators claim they have been receiving a good response from the public for the ridesharing facility.

S. Ramasubramanian, who uses the carpooling services of both Uber and Ola, said the option had definitely helped in saving money, though not time.

Officials of the State Transport Department denied there was any proposal to ban ridesharing services. A senior official of the State Transport Department said when there was no law to regulate the taxi aggregators unlike in New Delhi, where taxi aggregators are governed by Radio Taxi Scheme, 2006, there was no basis on which ridesharing could be banned or regulated. Though taxis were operated with a commercial vehicles permit, the aggregators were not covered under the rule of contract carriages of the Tamil Nadu Motor Vehicle Act, he added.

A spokesperson of Uber also clarified that they had not got any instructions regarding pausing Uberpool services in Chennai. The spokesperson said: “Ridesharing products like Uberpool are the future of urban mobility, helping decongest cities by getting more people into fewer cars and letting riders move around their city more affordably.”

Attempts to contact Ola regarding the ridesharing issue were unsuccessful.