Tejasvi Surya asks Karnataka government to reconsider carpooling ban in Bengaluru
The Karnataka government on Saturday issued a ban on carpooling services and said a fine ranging up to ₹10,000 will be levied if anyone operates them.
Tejasvi Surya of the Bharatiya Janata Party wrote an open letter to Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah requesting the state government to allow carpooling to decongest Bengaluru’s traffic. The Karnataka government on Saturday issued a ban on carpooling services and said a fine ranging up to ₹10,000 will be levied if anyone operates these services.
In his letter, Surya said the current public transport infrastructure in Bengaluru is not able to cater for its population and reiterated that carpooling could be the solution to reduce the number of vehicles on the road.
“With regards to the public transport of the city, the number of buses operated by the BMTC remained stagnant at 4,500 for the last few years and has increased to about 6,763 now. The fleet size is insufficient to meet the demands of Bengaluru, which has a population size of about 1.10 crore. It is estimated that around 6,000 more buses of various sizes are required for the city," he wrote.
"This being the situation, ride-sharing and carpooling are immediate and suitable remedies to ease the mobility crisis to a certain extent. It is suitable especially for IT employees travelling to the same IT Park or area and heading back home to the same locality after finishing work. Ride-hailing apps like BlaBla Car, Quickride, Zoom, Rideshare and others have been running these carpooling services, where 3-4 persons carpool together to the same workplace, area or IT park,” he added.
Surya also stressed that the Motor Vehicles Act must be changed as per time and called the current MV Act “outdated” which doesn’t allow the whiteboard vehicles to operate for commercial commute purposes.
“While it is the Government of Karnataka's contention that private vehicles cannot be used for commercial purposes, it must also be remembered that the law needs to be amended as per the changing times. As far as carriage of persons in private or contract vehicles is concerned, the Karnataka Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989, are outdated and are insufficient to meet the needs of the present day,” added Surya.
The transport department of Karnataka termed using whiteboard vehicles for commercial commute purposes as "illegal" and said that a fine can be levied ranging from ₹5,000 to ₹10,000 if anyone flouts the rules.