Car pooling halt in Karnataka – Ola and Uber riders affected

Car pooling halt in Karnataka – Ola and Uber riders affected

Car pooling or share ride in Karnataka is halted immediate effect.   The Karnataka Transport Department on 28th June directed popular cab aggregators Ola and Uber to withdraw car pooling feature from their mobile applications immediately.

While the drivers are happy about the ban on car pooling, the move is likely to affect and disappoint passengers who regularly use share services, known for being cheaper than the regular cab services. 

Ola and Uber Services :

Ola and Uber may have had a great year with the homegrown ride hailing service getting funding, while the international company reached its IPO landmark.

But coming as a bump in this glorious path is Karnataka government’s order to both the companies to withdraw their pool services in Bengaluru.

Ola & Uber drivers reaction to halt Car pooling :

The drivers pointed out that both companies did not have the licence to provide carpool service. They had also been protesting against the hassles faced during pooling services, which includes passengers frequently arguing or fighting with each other and issues related to women’s safety.

However, both Ola and Uber said the car-pooling services enables customers to save money and fuel.

Ola’s investment :

Ola has been in the news lately. It recently announced a strategic partnership with Hyundai Motor Group,  where Hyundai and Kia Motor Corporation, both part of the same group, will make a combined investment of $300 million in the ride-sharing platform. 

Last month, it raised Rs 650 crore in funding from Sachin Bansal, Co-founder of Flipkart. In January, Sachin had invested Rs.150 crore in the company  and committed additional funding. The ride-hailing aggregator has already raised $74 million led by Steadview Capital as part of its larger $2 billion round.

Public Reaction :

Ola Share and UberPOOL, the ride-sharing features from the two aggregators, enjoy popularity among commuters and have been hailed as practical solutions to traffic congestion. The transport authority’s previous attempt to ban the carpooling feature in 2017 saw opposition from transport experts. 

Public are not happy about the ban of car pooling by the Government.  Banning car pooling is definitely not the way out.  With last mile connectivity and lack of public transport infrastructure, car pooling is much more better than having 4 different/separate cars on the road.

According to public ride sharing is legal as long as it involves cost sharing and the owner/driver of the said car is not flouting the law to make a profit. Owners of private cars involved in car pooling in India do not require a special permit.

Ola share banned during night :

Recently Ola Ride-Sharing was blocked by taxi aggregator Ola at night between 11 pm and 6 am  due to the safety of the passengers and the driver’s earnings.

Commuters will not be able to use ola ride-sharing to work through taxi aggregators ola.

Bengaluru, where Ola is headquartered, is also its single largest market in the country. The city is estimated to have 120,000 cabs, out of which around 65,000 operate on the Uber and Ola platforms interchangeably, state authorities and experts said. 

This isn’t the first run-in for a ride hailing firm with the Karnataka authorities. 

Recently, Ola and other cab aggregators which operate bike taxis have been facing the heat from the Transport Department. In February, transport officials seized close to 500 such bike taxis for operating illegally.

Car Pooling / Ride-sharing :

Thousands of commuters rely on ride-sharing to get to places as it is affordable.  But nobody knows whether it remains permanent.  The facility was stopped earlier this week.

The passengers pay 30% to 60% less by sharing the cab with others travelling on the same route.

Road space – car pooling / ride sharing :

The ride sharing or car pooling was well appreciated for its role in reducing congestion by carrying more people in less vehicles. The decision was a disappointing news for a lot of people who work late in the night.

Ola talked about “ease of use”, “lower prices”, and “decongesting cities”, they do not take responsibility for the passenger’s safety. The companies do guarantee passenger safety even after the rider has boarded the cab.

In a country where fake identity proofs are so common, allowing strangers to share rides can be risky.

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