Uber says won't withdraw UberPool services in Bengaluru as ban looms


According to the Transport Department, Ola and Uber have permits that do not allow them pick up and drop options at multiple points in the same ride.

Ride hailing app Uber on Thursday said that its ride sharing service UberPOOL will continue despite an instruction from the state Transport Department for its suspension.

According to Karnataka's government, which has shown little interest in amending archaic regulations in the past, pool services from Uber and Ola violate contract carriage permit. Such a permit only allows for point-to-point pick ups and drops. "So, we have started a poll to stop the service", said Tanveer Pasha, President of the Ola, TaxiForSure and Uber Drivers' Association. "There is a clear understanding between all the riders on the trip and the Driver Partner that the trip and the vehicle will be shared", an Uber spokesperson explained. The law says the driver can stop, pick up and drop off passengers if it's all under the same contract and that's exactly what happens in UberPOOL. According to the company UberPOOL has prevented more than 9,364,772 kilometres of unnecessary driving; saved 440,623 litres of fuel by allowing it to match riders using similar routes; and cut over 1,037,000 kg of Carbon dioxide emissions by sharing a ride. Meanwhile, members of the Ola and Uber drivers association in Bengaluru who have opposed the share rides have also started a petition to collect public opinion regarding the issue. A senior official of the State Transport Department said when there was no law to regulate the taxi aggregators unlike in New Delhi, where taxi aggregators are governed by Radio Taxi Scheme, 2006, there was no basis on which ridesharing could be banned or regulated.

However, Ola executives told Live Mint on condition of anonymity that they too won't be stopping the service. He however added that the department understands the benefits of sharing rides and is looking into the matter accordingly. Uber however said that the company is "yet to receive any indication from the concerned authorities regarding intent to pause Uber pool services in Chennai".

When asked that Uber claims that its care-pooling services are legal, Aiyappa reiterated that the motor vehicle act prohibits them from picking and dropping customers in between.

Bengaluru is no doubt one of the biggest, most influential market for Uber in India, and they simply can not allow to ruin it. "Since both Ola and Uber have not submitted a representation within the 3-day deadline, we will have to go ahead and crack down on them, starting Friday", Aiyappa added.