In yet another trouble for app-based cab-aggregators like Uber and its home-grown rival Ola, the Delhi government is reported to be planning to follow in the footsteps of Karnataka in banning the car-sharing services of these companies. The latest issue, allegedly over violation of a key permit, is expected to add to the troubles of companies like Uber and Ola, which have been making headlines for a while now — not always for the right reasons.
On January 30, 2017, the Karnataka government had banned cab-sharing services provided by Ola and Uber. According to a report in the Hindustan Times, these shared rides through app-based cab aggregators might soon stop in Delhi as well.
According to government officials, these services are in violation of ‘contract carriage permit’ conditions. “These services violate permit conditions. Cab aggregators are introducing and running these facilities in a very clandestine way. They have been bringing out more variants of shared rides which is technically illegal. The government was never consulted,” an official as quoted as saying, in reference to variants like Ola Share Express that operate on fixed routes at a minimum fare of Rs 30.
The car-pooling services, introduced in Delhi at the time of the ‘Odd-Even’ road rationing scheme, have been gaining popularity in the city. The shared rides availed of from cab aggregators like Uber and Ola cost about half the individual ride fares on app-based services, which themselves are lower than those on radio taxis.
According to the ‘contract carriage permit’, which is a form of licence given to cab drivers, app-based cab operators can pick passengers from a location and drop them to a fixed destination. During the journey, the cab driver cannot allow anyone else to board the cab.
Meanwhile, sources say that the Delhi government could write to the Centre seeking quick amendment of the Motor Vehicles Act.