The state has hosts the world’s most dynamic city, Bengaluru, has often been hostile to cab-aggregators like Ola and Uber. First uberMOTO and Ola Bikes were seized, then the Government stopped the operations in the state altogether along with banning of surge pricing.
Now, after the two companies have been successfully running their operations in Karnataka, the Government has directed a ban on uberPOOL and Ola Share, the ride sharing options provided by the two largest cab-aggregators.
Karnataka has deemed carpooling option illegal in the state. According to the laws, the cab should pick up the customer from one point and drop him/her to the destination, with no additional stops to pick up extra customers in the middle.
“We believe UberPool is clearly within the law. We will continue to engage with the transport department and the Karnataka government as ride-sharing 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,” as reported by FactorDaily.
Cab sharing option has been promoted by the companies in times like today when the traffic is getting worse and roads are always jammed at even normal hours. Pooling is a good alternative to driving, thereby saving fuel, reducing congestion and promoting a cleaner environment.
Is the Government going too far?
As far as carpooling is concerned, both the company, the drivers and the passengers benefit from it. The company gets more revenue from one continuous drive, the driver gets more rides in his/her kitty and the passengers get a hefty discount on the actual ride.
The amount of congestion drops in cities as more and more people take this service, lesser pollutants are released in the environment and more even consider taking public transport. However, Karnataka Government wants to ensure these companies adhere to the policies it has set.
Bengaluru, the IT hub of India, that has grown by leaps and bounds in the last decade does not deserve something like this. Uber and Ola both have huge centres in the city, and this is a very harsh step for both.
What is also surprising is that the Government did not interfere when these services were started. It is only when Bengaluru is finally able to bring its traffic situation in some control, the Government interferes and creates a fuss.
While some policies like registration of the companies and the drivers is fair and even promoted, such practices shouldn’t be an issue unless the commuters themselves raise an issue. The only downside could be low commission to the drivers, but that can be sorted out by the company authorities themselves.
Uber and Ola have taken some revenue share from public transport run by the Government, so it seems more like a revenge than an actual implementation of a rule. If you’re in Bengaluru, or going to Bengaluru soon, you should look at alternatives if you don’t want to pay full for your ride.