Bengaluru: Government orders aggregators to stop auto services in 3 days

BENGALURU: A report on minimum fares of ( auto services ) autorickshaws of app-based aggregators crossing Rs 100 in Bengaluru, the transport department on Thursday declared aggregator autos ‘illegal’.
The department issued notices to ANI Technologies, which runs Ola, Uber, and Rapido, asking them to stop auto services in three days and submit a report.
Transport commissioner THM Kumar, in a letter, said they have granted licenses to these firms under the Karnataka On-Demand Transportation Technology Aggregators Rules, 2016, to run only taxis. “Taxis means a motor cab having a seating capacity not exceeding six passengers, excluding the driver,” he said.
It stated: “The aggregators are providing autorickshaw services in violation of the above regulations. Also, it has come to the notice of the department that customers are being charged higher rates than the rates fixed by the government.”
Auto services should be discontinued and also not to charge passengers more than the fare prescribed by the government,” it said. The notice asked them to submit a report within three days failing which action will be initiated. Ola, Uber, and Rapido were unavailable for comments.
L Hemanth Kumar, the additional commissioner for transport and secretary, of the State Transport Authority, said: “They are not supposed to run autorickshaws with a cab-aggregator license. Aggregator rules are only for cabs. We’ve asked them to stop autorickshaw services through the app and submit a report”.
TOI on Thursday published a report, ‘Minimum charge for aggregator autos in city breaches Rs 100’. Though the minimum auto fare in the city is fixed at Rs 30 for the first 2km and Rs 15 for every kilometer thereafter, aggregators have hiked the minimum charge in the city to Rs 100.
C Sampath, general secretary, of Adarsh Auto Drivers’ Union, said: “The plan to stop aggregator auto services will not affect drivers. In fact, the aggregators were fleecing both passengers and cutting down our incentives. We received permits not to run for aggregators but for normal rides. As a union, we already asked our members to ply according to the government-fixed fare.”
Take action: Bengaluru South MP tells CM, min
Quoting TOI’s Thursday report, Bengaluru South MP Tejasvi Surya tweeted: “Autorickshaws are the backbone of first & last-mile connectivity in Bengaluru. We received many complaints recently regarding tech aggregators charging Rs 100 as a minimum charge against the fixed limit of Rs 30. Requested the CM & transport minister B Sriramulu to take necessary action.”
In a letter to the CM, Surya said: “Increase in auto fares will have a cascading effect on other means of public transport. The minimum charge for aggregator autos must be regulated and the commuter must not be charged above the government’s prescribed rates.”

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