Delhi: Pressure builds on Centre to make app-based cab sharing legal | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Delhi: Pressure builds on Centre to make app-based cab sharing legal

After ban by Karnataka government on car pooling services like Ola Share and UberPOOL, Delhi government too has moved to impose a ban. However, users say the government should instead amend the act to make the services legal.

delhi Updated: Feb 13, 2017 09:19 IST
Sweta Goswami
Shared cabs

Users feel the government should amend the existing Motor Vehicles Act to make cab sharing legal. (HT FILE)

The Delhi government may be considering to ban shared cab services but people say it is a bad move. HT spoke to users who instead demanded that the archaic Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 be amended and the service be brought within the ambit of law.

Car pooling facilities by app-based cab aggregators, like Ola and Uber, have gained popularity within 15 months as the rides cost up to 50% less than the usual fares, which are already cheaper than radio taxis. However, following the Karnataka government’s ban on such services, the Delhi government too has said that such operations are in violation of the ‘contract carriage’ permit issued to these cabs.

Reacting to HT’s report on the government’s plan to ban car pooling in the capital, people said that immediate steps should be taken to make the service legal.

“It shouldn’t be banned. Instead, the Delhi government must put pressure on the Centre to amend the law and make this service legal,” said Supriyo Das, a regular user.

The government has accepted that car pooling is a positive step towards decongesting city roads and reducing pollution. In fact, during its two odd-even road rationing drives these services were highly promoted by app-based cab aggregates and received a good response. User too say that on one hand these services are economical and on the other they provide a viable solution to the problem of pollution and traffic on city roads.

“Shared cabs are more economical and take away traffic from roads. In fact, the government should promote the concept and arrange for safety of passengers travelling in such cabs so that people can use it in large number. If the service is stopped, then everyone will start using his/her vehicles adding to the traffic chaos,” said Pooja Bhagat, a resident of Keshapuram.

The Delhi government believes it’s time to bring the service under a law so that accountability can be fixed and safety of passengers is ensured while they avail the service. “Shared services are eco-friendly and must be promoted. Besides, it saves one from buying a car and the expenditure that follows like insurance, maintenance and parking,” said Anita Bajpai, a resident of Mayur Vihar Phase I.

However, some users also point out that with no existing framework in place, such services can be unsafe. “There is no doubt that the shared cabs help in last mile connectivity and turn out to cheaper in comparison to other modes of transportation. But the Delhiites still need to learn the etiquettes of travelling in shared cab. Commuters often misbehave, argue and even fight for getting seats with co-passengers. Shared cabs don’t look safe during night,” said Aryan Bhardwaj, a resident of Daryaganj.

An Ola spokesperson said that they have saved over four million litres of fuel in 2016 thanks to cab-sharing while Uber said more than 31% of all its trips are shared rides.

A committee set up by the ministry of road transport and highways had already suggested that shared cab services be allowed. However, a corresponding change in the MV Act, 1988 is the need of the hour.