Government plans to launch ride-hailing app for cabs, autos
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Government plans to launch ride-hailing app for cabs, autos

October 30, 2023

Bengaluru: The Karnataka Government has decided to launch its own ride-hailing app, aiming to provide a platform similar to popular services like Uber and Ola, in order to address the concerns and grievances of taxi and autorickshaw drivers.

Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy announced that the Transport Department is taking steps to develop a new mobile application for booking autos and taxis. The app will draw inspiration from the models used by popular private cab aggregators like Ola and Uber.

This decision comes in response to the challenges faced by autorickshaw and cab drivers who have been burdened with high commissions, and the new app aims to address these issues. Reddy stated, “A decision has been made to develop an application similar to Ola and Uber as autorickshaw drivers and cab drivers are facing a lot of issues due to high commissions.”

He further emphasised that the primary objective behind introducing this platform is to ensure fair treatment and adequate compensation for taxi and auto drivers.

Money pocketed by companies

Following a grievance meeting with representatives from auto, taxi and bus unions, Reddy highlighted an incident where a driver presented a customer’s bill indicating that the passenger had paid Rs. 800, but the driver only received Rs. 450, with the remaining amount going to the company.

He added, “Ola and Uber do not own any vehicles; their investment lies solely in their app and software. The Government is committed to creating its own app to address these issues and ensure fair treatment and compensation for drivers.”

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In 2022, the Kerala Government launched the ‘Kerala Savari’ app as an alternative to Ola and Uber, but it failed to gain popularity. Bengaluru’s Auto Rickshaw Drivers’ Union (ARDU) rolled out the ‘Namma Yatri’ app in November 2022 which received a positive response from users.

Bike taxi ban

Regarding drivers’ demands to ban bike taxis, Reddy stated that the matter is currently pending in the High Court. He also promised to look into their other demands, including insurance coverage for drivers, housing facilities, providing educational assistance for drivers’ children, observing a drivers’ day, honouring exemplary drivers, implementing uniform cab fare to the airport, reducing road tax for buses and facilitating online tourist permits.

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