Bengaluru: Shikha A has been using UberPOOL to commute from Whitefield to her Domlur office for almost a year. She says she used to travel by BMTC AC buses before deciding to carpool, a cheap and faster way to commute. Shikha and thousands of others who carpool in Bengaluru every day are in a fix following the transport department’s decision to ban app-based ridesharing services UberPOOL and OlaShare starting this Friday.
After a meeting with the transport commissioner on Monday, both Uber and Ola agreed to halt ride-sharing services as they have been termed illegal. Officials have said cabs could be detained for violating the contract carriage norms, which only allow for multiple passengers to be picked up from a point and dropped at a specific point.
Thousands of commuters rely on ride-sharing to get to work as it is both affordable and fast. Now, most will either have to take an auto or drive to work. Sagnik Basu, who travels to MG Road from RT Nagar, may have to return to his old transport mode, bus. “The best part of UberPOOL or OlaShare is that they’re cheap, convenient and comfortable. Earlier, I had to change two buses to reach office and they would usually be very crowded during peak hours. Why does the government always have to take steps that only pushes our expenses?” he said.
“With the existing traffic scene in the city, driving is a pain. The only fear I have is that the travel time will be more. I have to complete nine hours of work and rush home,” said Shikha, a technology firm employee.
Most employees of companies located in Marathahalli, Whitefield, MG Road, Koramangala and Indiranagar carpool to work. “Most of my friends either use UberPool or OlaShare. They are economical and convenient. We also get to know new people on our way to work every day,” said Sriram Ramesh.
The two companies have asked for three days to modify their software which will only allow a cab to pick the riders from one point and drop them at a specific point.
“We will like to reiterate that UberPOOL is clearly within the law. We will continue to engage with the transport department and Karnataka government. Ridesharing services such as UberPOOL are the future of urban mobility, helping decongest cities by getting more people into fewer cars and letting riders move around their city more affordably | Uber statementSTORY 2: