The dial-an-auto service, which was launched last week, has hit its first hurdle, and it’s from the state government.
The Regional Transport Authority (RTO) on Monday informed the company running the service — it is operated through a web portal (www.rickshawale.com) — that under the law there’s no provision to run such a service.
Officials from the Wadala RTO visited the firm’s office on Monday. “We first received a call from the Wadala RTO telling us to shut down our service. We said we are only providing a facility to commuters looking for better service,” said Hemant Jain, co-founder of Rickshawale.
Rickshawale was launched on October 13 and has received decent response, with an average of 350 customers using the services every day. The number of auto drivers enrolled with the firm has also increased from 300 to 400 in four days.
“The firm charges Rs 20 as service charge. There is no provision to charge such a fee over the regular tariff. It has not obtained permission from the Road Transport Authority (RTA), which decides the fare,” said an official from Wadala RTO.
Transport commissioner VN More said: “We have to take cognisance of Rickshawale. If commuters complain, the driver with this company can be fined for overcharging, as there is no legal explanation for additional charges as of now.”
“If the firm applies, we can make provisions to allow the services as it is the need of the hour,” said an RTA officer.