Ola, Uber, Rapido Autos to be arrested in Karnataka within 3 days for charging customers extra fees


Ola, Uber, and Rapido have been the go-to option for many Silicon Valley residents for several reasons ranging from their one-click availability to the security they offer. However, in recent times, a number of customer complaints have been forwarded to transport authorities regarding the prices charged by the three taxi aggregators.

Based on these complaints and other findings, the Karnataka Department of Transport has labeled ridesharing platform companies as “illegal” under the 2016 On-Demand Transport Technology Act. A period of three days has been given to the aggregators to submit a report on the same, based on the decision to discontinue their auto rickshaw services will be taken.

Violation of taxi aggregator license

The State Transport Authority’s additional commissioner, THM Kumar, said the companies had been granted licenses to operate taxis under Karnataka’s 2016 on-demand transport technology aggregator rules. These rules allow the license holder to operate motor taxis and do not apply to other services. like automobiles. Many of these services were found to be in direct violation of the licenses granted to them.

“They are not supposed to run auto rickshaws with a taxi aggregator license. The aggregation rules only apply to taxis. We have asked them to stop the auto rickshaw services via the app and submit a report,” the commissioner added.

They also allegedly violated fare regulations set by the government, according to several complaints filed by commuters. Many of them claimed that the companies charge a minimum of ₹100 even for covering a distance of less than two kilometers. According to a report from Economic periodCurrently, the fare structure in Bangalore is set at ₹30 for the first two kilometers and an additional ₹15 for each kilometer traveled thereafter.

Although Ola and Uber have not officially responded to the incident, a spokesperson for the Rapido app said they would respond to the government within the next three days and work in accordance with the transport authorities’ decision.

Rapido also maintained that they don’t charge extra money on the set fares, and that usually includes a convenience fee which could increase by ₹45 and a 5% goods and services tax. These additions are what bring the final costs up to ₹100, and the company says this is the base fare it has charged for journeys up to four kilometers.

Initially, the convenience fee ranged from ₹10 to 15 at a minimum, and it continued to increase as companies focused on improving the profitability and economy of the unit. Simplifying the concept, the spokesperson noted that everything in the digital realm comes with a convenience fee.

Every time a movie ticket or food order is placed online, a certain amount is charged as a convenience fee, as these services are brought to the customer at the convenience of their home. Similarly, when auto and other services are greeted with a single click, it is a fee paid for that convenience, reported the Times Now News.

talk about the same thing The Logical Indian, Aswathy Unnikrishnan, a frequent user of taxi services, said it was a common charge on e-platforms. She says that despite the additional convenience charge, which can vary between 20 and 40 rupees, online taxi services are still much cheaper than running car services. In support of this claim, she recalls several instances where she was charged over ₹250 to drive a mile in a local car.

Many car drivers in Bangalore are notoriously notorious for not going by the meter and charging exorbitant prices, which has led many commuters to opt for online taxi aggregators.

Answers and reactions

Previously, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) issued a warning asking several Indian taxi aggregators such as Ola, Uber and Meru to come up with clear and transparent policies regarding revenue sharing between drivers and aggregators.

On October 6, MP for South Bengaluru Tejasvi Surya tweeted about it and asked the ruling government and the Minister of Transport to take necessary action on the matter. The tweet read: “Auto rickshaws are the backbone of first and last mile connectivity in Bengaluru. We have recently received many complaints about tech aggregators charging ₹100 as minimum charge over limit fixed ₹30.”

Many more have picked up the slack and responded with their experiences and the actions that have been taken against the problem so far.

So far, the ministry’s notice has asked ride-sharing companies to stop car services and not charge taxi passengers more than the government-mandated fare. Violation of these would also result in legal action.

The decision left many Twitter users divided, who claimed that while the regulations are a positive step, the ban on auto services would ultimately lead to increased price demands from local auto rickshaws.

Speaking of such frequent experiences with local motorists, undergraduate student Parineeta Pandey said The Logical Indian“If anyone has been to Bangalore they know how exuberant the prices charged by these car drivers are, and I understand that this is happening because of the competition they are facing due to the advent of these taxi services. But I think banning these cars doesn’t make sense.”

As a student who often chooses to travel through these taxi aggregation platforms, she explains that these services have made things easier and more convenient as a ride is just a click away. It also reflects on the security mechanism built into these platforms.

Speaking about the same, Aswathy also talked extensively about features like sharing trip details, panic buttons, and more. in online taxi services that guarantee a certain level of responsibility for the safety of the commuter. This form of security is generally non-existent in local autos. Apart from safety, local motorists also tend to change fares as they see fit, making it much more difficult for passengers to opt for public transport.

They often raise arguments about prices and duties set by the Union, and would easily rip off the commuter if they are not a locality, Aswathy added.

Another user of these online platforms contacted The Logical Indian, and said: “Several times Uber and Ola charged me more than the fare quoted when booking the ride, but there was a provision in the platform itself for me to file the grievance and get reimbursement.” A proper platform for quick grievance resolution is also contributing to the shift of many public transport users to online services.

However, according to the latest reports, the auto unions in the city are in the process of launching their own mobile application called “Namma Yatri”. The app is in talks to launch by November 1 in partnership with the Beck Foundation and would follow the rate set by the government with an additional ₹10 for pickup.

Also Read: Journalism Student Details Assault by Uber Auto Driver on Twitter, Accused Arrested on Immediate Action


Comments are closed.