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Bangalore: Mobile app aggregators continue to offer car services despite ban

Bengaluru-based interior designer Vaishnavi K didn’t have to wait long to book a car from a carpooling app on Wednesday, the first day of the ban on online autorickshaw booking in Karnataka.

“I didn’t have much trouble booking the car on a ridesharing app, but I paid Rs 140 for the trip, an increase of Rs 20 from what I was paying before. The government’s decision to ban car services on taxi aggregation apps is definitely bad news as they are easier to access compared to metered cars,” said Vaishnavi who did the ride from JP Nagar in Koramangala.

Ride-sharing apps Ola, Uber and Rapido continued to offer three-wheeler services in the southern state, despite the ban that began on Wednesday. In fact, Uber also offered Rs 25 off car rides on the first day of the ban.

Meanwhile, the Karnataka Transport and Road Safety Department has announced a fine of Rs 5,000 per vehicle for the first offense if taxi aggregators are found using three-wheelers.

Prerana and Vaishnavi booked a car ride online from Jnana Bharati metro station to Visvesvaraya Layout on Wednesday. They paid Rs 117 for the 5.2 km journey. Prerana said, “We had a car ride from Visveswaraya Layout to Jayanagar in the morning via an app service despite the ban in place… Banning car services offered by taxi aggregator apps is not a good idea. Regulating services would have been much better. Also, taking a taxi is not always an option as it is expensive.

Professional Michelle K booked a car in the morning from Cunningham Road to MG Road after struggling for 45 minutes. “I had to wait 45 minutes to book a car on a taxi aggregator app. But I still couldn’t make the trip. I finally had to get a running car. I also took a car running from MG Road to Koramangala – a distance of about 7 km – and the driver charged me 200 rupees,” Michelle said.

Meanwhile, Anoushka, another professional, said an app taxi aggregator charged Rs 100 for an autorickshaw ride from the 4th to 5th blocks of Jayanagar on Wednesday, a distance of just 1.5 km.

Some autorickshaw drivers have welcomed the move to ban auto services on taxi aggregation apps.

Satish Kumar, a car driver, said, “The taxi-aggregator model has never been beneficial for car drivers, given the amount of commission companies used to take. Also, I transport passengers around Mysore Road locality, without operating in the city. I get enough passengers in the area and I can make more trips.

Mr Manjunath, President of Adarsha Car and Taxi Drivers Association, said: “Car drivers have continued to accept bookings despite the ban because they have to look after their livelihoods. bread. Banning auto services is not a solution at all. Taxi aggregators must first tackle the issue of rising prices that impact passengers. Fares have literally doubled in recent days, especially for short distances. This discourages passengers from choosing a car and ultimately has an impact on driver earnings.