Auto driver unions demand ban on auto rickshaw services by ride … – The Indian Express

Members of 21 autorickshaw driver unions, representatives from ride-hailing apps Ola, Uber, and Rapido, and officials of the transport and road safety department held a meeting to resolve differences over fare rates, among others, in Bengaluru Monday. The meeting, though, did not result in any breakthrough.
Meanwhile, the newly appointed commissioner of transport SN Siddaramappa called for another meeting Tuesday, involving representatives from the general public and the traffic police in Bengaluru to discuss the issue.
Siddaramappa said: “As per the directions from the Karnataka High Court, we conducted a meeting today (Monday) and have received inputs from both the driver unions and the representatives from cab aggregating companies… We will be also convening another meeting with the general public and traffic cops on Tuesday and take their opinion on the legalisation of these apps and the pricing system. All these observations will be submitted to the high court in the next hearing.”
In Monday’s meeting, auto driver unions alleged that the government did not act against cab aggregators that ‘illegally’ operated auto services without a license since 2016 and “looted public money”. Driver unions demanded a complete ban on auto services offered by ride-hailing apps and requested the government to come up with its own app.
Tanveer Pasha, president of Ola Uber Drivers and Owners Association, said: “The government has two options. Either to ban the illegal auto services of cab aggregators immediately or to introduce a new law to allow them to operate under government-fixed rates. However, there are limitations of the latter option including the withdrawal of certain traffic regulations and rules… Instead, a total ban is a welcome move.”
He also said, “First of all, a meeting to discuss the prices for auto services should not have been convened because the ride-hailing apps are illegal. Let the apps run legally and then we can discuss fares.”
Auto driver unions also alleged that ride-hailing apps have only been allowed to run taxi aggregator services under the Karnataka On-Demand Transportation Technology Aggregators Rule, 2016, and are not permitted to fix the prices for auto services.
Meanwhile, the representatives of Ola and Uber have submitted their proposals wherein they requested the high court to allow dynamic pricing by permitting Rs 25 platform fees and 25 per cent commission. Meanwhile, Ola has requested to double the base fare from Rs 30 to Rs 60.
The Karnataka High Court in October provided relief to ride-hailing apps after the government prohibited them from offering auto rides. The Court also asked the government and all stakeholders to convene a meeting and fix the fares for auto services offered by ride-hailing apps. The high court in its interim order allowed the apps to charge 10 per cent extra plus GST for the auto services.
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