Ola, Uber slapped with 292 cases in Bengaluru for charging excess fare: Report
The voices of dissent against ride-hailing apps have reached the Karnataka Transport Department, who took aggregators to task by filing 292 cases against them for charging exorbitant fares for cab rides.
Cab aggregators Ola, Uber and others have come under the radar of the Karnataka Transport Department officials after several complaints poured in from commuters in Bengaluru on high fares.
A report by The Hindu said the transport department has slapped 292 cases on ride-hailing apps including Ola and Uber based on these complaints by citizens. Commuters have also sent complaints via email to the chief minister himself, among other top government officials in this matter.
Following this, the Transport Department carried out a drive on Friday to identify such aggregators and drivers at different parts of the city.
IAS officer T.H.M. Kumar, the commissioner for transport and road safety told the publication that the department has filed 292 cases against cab aggregators for exorbitant ride fares. "In the past, the State government had fixed fares that are applicable for the taxi aggregators. They have to fix the fare as per the slab fixed by the government and cannot take passengers for a ride,” he added.
Ola was not immediately available for comment.
Discontent against ride-hailing apps has been brewing online as well, with many taking to social media to share their experiences. A Twitter user called John Franklin said, “A 15 minute drive to Bengaluru Cox Town area Ola auto shows 60% more than an a meter fare usually it cost only 45rs to 50rs but Ola is dammmmmm cheating 105 rs for 2 kms ride where the hell out nation is going on.”
Another netizen said, “Auto drivers in Bengaluru have become extremely cocky. Not one guy is ready to come from Jayanagar 5th block to Jayanagar 3rd block. People who are ready to come ask for the pricing according to Uber/Ola. It barely costs 30 bux and the apps show 90 bux.”
Recently, Rohin Dahrmakumar, the CEO of The Ken also joined the rant against exorbitant prices of a cab ride, saying, “A ~1 hour Uber to Bengaluru airport costs 60-130% the price of a ~1.5 hour flight to Mumbai."
A Bengaluru resident, Sabthagiri Vasan, told Hindustan Times that Ola drivers have started demanding extra fare on top of the charges stipulated by Ola on its app, while some ask for cash instead of Ola money.
Drivers charging extra fare will be slapped with fines of ₹500, K T Halaswamy, the joint commissioner of the transport department said, and added that the department will serve notices to cab aggregators and take action depending on their response.
The Karnataka government had said it would look into “unfair practices” of these cab aggregators back in May after a flood of complaints from commuters in the city.
Cabbies on the other hand have said they have challenging work conditions as they juggle high fuel costs, high commissions paid to the aggregator per ride, EMI repayments on their vehicles and unbeatable traffic congestions.
Many drivers in Bengaluru began working longer into the night to avoid peak traffic hours, a report had said.