Ride sharing

In a major setback, the Transport Department asked online cab aggregators including Uber and Ola to stop car-pooling services in Bangalore, according to various reports.

According to the department, car-pooling by aggregators is a direct violation of the the Motor Vehicles Act of India.

After a meeting with the representatives of online cab operators in the city, Transport Commissioner MK Aiyappa told reporters that cabs cannot pick up from and drop passengers at multiple locations before the end of each trip. It is also posing huge security risks, as passengers especially women have to share rides with strangers.

The cab companies have been given three days to comply with the rules, after they asked for time to make necessary changes to their software. Violators will be booked and prosecuted after this period, added the Commissioner.

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The decision comes in the wake of strong protests by city’s public transport utility BMTC. In a letter to the transport department, BMTC managing director Ekroop Caur said its revenues were severely hit due to carpool offered by online cab operators.

Pooling has been one of the major revenue sources for online cab operators in India. While ride-sharing helps the consumer to save money, it also helps reduce pollution to a certain extent. More over, in a city like Bangalore, notorious for traffic snarls, car-pooling is the best alternative.

It is not the first time cab operators are facing music in Bangalore. Last year, Uber and Ola were asked to stop their respective bike-taxi service in the city, after the state government termed it illegal.

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