Auto unions in Bengaluru to launch their own ridesharing app

Karnataka Transport Minister Sriramulu said that officials had ordered to impound Ola and Uber autos that are still plying.
Bengaluru auto
Bengaluru auto
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Following the state government’s order to cab aggregators like Ola, Uber, and Rapido to stop auto services, the Autorickshaw Drivers Union (ARDU) is set to launch its own smartphone app, “Namma Yatri” on November 1. With assistance from the Beckn Foundation, which is backed by Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani, ARDU will introduce the app built on the open mobility network, according to a report in Times of India.

Presently, the minimum auto rate in Bengaluru is set at Rs 30 for the first 2 km and Rs 15 for each extra kilometre. While many passengers complained that the app-based cab aggregators charged a minimum of Rs 100 for auto rides, Namma Yatri app claims to charge a flat Rs 40 fare in a 2-km radius between metro stations and residence/office and will collect an additional Rs 10 as pick up charge.

After numerous passengers protested about the app-based cab aggregators' exorbitant charges, earlier on October 6, Transport Commissioner THM Kumar ordered Ola, Uber, and Rapido to stop providing auto services in Karnataka within the next three days. The Karnataka Transport Department on October 6, alluded to complaints about the app-based cab aggregators charging a minimum of Rs 100 for auto rides and called it an "illegal practice" in a notice to Uber, ANI Technologies, which operates Ola and Rapido. The aggregators had also been instructed to produce a compliance report. Despite the notice, Ola, Uber and Rapido have continued to offer auto services at exorbitant rates.

L Hemanth Kumar, Additional Commissioner for Transport and Secretary, State Transport Authority, told TOI that the cab aggregators had been given until Tuesday, October 11, to halt providing auto services. As a case brought by the aggregators is still pending in the Karnataka High Court, he added that further action will be taken after consultation with the government's legal advisors. In response to public complaints of overcharging, the transport authorities filed as many as 292 cases against the ride-hailing applications last month. The Hindu reported that the aggregators were singled out for attention as a result of a public outcry.

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