Opinion is split among Bangaloreans over a Karnataka government crackdown on online taxi aggregators offering rickshaw rides, with the ban on Ola and Uber cars set to come into force soon.
The transport department’s decision comes after complaints that aggregation apps charged at least 100 rupees for rickshaw rides when the minimum fare is 30 rupees. Additionally, app-based platforms operate without the licenses required to run rickshaw services.
Professor Dr Bhargavi Hemmige welcomed the ban on app-based autorickshaws. “In Bangalore, half of the spending is on travel. With these aggregators charging high prices for short distance trips, it just digs deeper into our pockets. Fares vary considerably during peak hours. Over the past six months, I have witnessed an unprecedented rise in car prices. A simple 7 km trip costs between Rs 200 and Rs 250, while I only have to pay half the price of an automatic meter,” he said.
Naveen Raj, a professional, believes switching to metered rickshaws is a viable option. “Taxi aggregators’ car services are focused on high-traffic areas. A user booking from a location other than busy areas is very unlikely to get a car. In addition, there are cases where motorists cancel trips and the penalty is our responsibility for the next trip. It is also difficult to rely on these automobiles in remote locations; regular cars or taxis are a safe option,” he said.
Priyanka Saksena, a student in Doddagubbi, uses autorickshaws mainly for shopping and exploring the city. She thinks the ban will only hamper her travels. “This government decision is very discouraging. As a migrant, I cannot afford to pay so much for a taxi. Ola/Uber autos were handy for short trips. Now it will get difficult. I think I will now switch to the metro as an alternative,” she said.
Surabhi Shandilya, a public relations professional, said she changes at least three or four autorickshaws every day as part of her job. “I use a corporate account and booking cars door to door saves me time and is easy. But with these services banned, it will only make it harder for me to get around town. negotiate,” she said. “Because taxi aggregators have records of their drivers, it is easier to flag emergency issues and track drivers during unwanted incidents. in place to respond to emergencies. But ordinary cars do not support such a system, which endangers the safety of female passengers.
Akshay Patil, another professional, does not hesitate to pay extra for Uber or Ola autorickshaws for the ease of access they offer. “Compared to taxi fares, car fares are cheaper. Moreover, it is easy to identify autos on apps in remote places compared to ordinary autos. And when it comes to tariffs, I don’t see a very big difference between the former and the latter,” he said.