Four app-based taxis to get aggregator licence in MMR region
The court had warned aggregators that they would be barred from offering services if they fail to abide by its orders to secure a licence for their drivers
Mumbai: The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Transport Authority (MMRTA) has decided to issue a “provisional aggregator licence” to four companies, including Ola and Uber, for operating app-based taxi services in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), an official said on Thursday. The four companies include ANI Technologies Pvt Ltd (Ola), Uber India Systems Pvt Ltd, Meru Mobility Tech Pvt Ltd, and Mahindra Logistics Ltd as per the union government’s Motor Vehicle Aggregator Guidelines-2020, the Maharashtra Motor Vehicles Department official added.
Aggregators like Ola and Uber which were introduced in 2014 have gained immense popularity among the citizens due to their prompt services and transparent fares. However, they did not have any licence.
Earlier this month, observing that app-based taxi firms Ola and Uber operating in Maharashtra without a valid licence was an instance of “complete lawlessness”, the Bombay High Court (HC) had directed all the aggregators to apply for a valid licence by March 16 if they wish to continue operations.
The court had warned aggregators that they would be barred from offering services if they fail to abide by its orders to secure a licence for their drivers.
Based on this order, the MMRTA asked for applications to which six companies had applied. Since most of the companies did not comply with the required conditions, the MMRTA asked them to comply by March 30. However, of the six, two companies Mediamiles Pvt Ltd (All Miles), and Roppen Transportation Services Pvt Ltd were disqualified as they failed to comply with the majority of the guidelines.
The remaining four companies who complied with the majority of the conditions are being given a ‘provisional aggregator licence’ and are told to fulfil the remaining conditions within a month failing to which their licences will get cancelled.
The state government has not yet finalised its own guidelines based on the central government policy framed in 2020. Hence the government has no control over their fare structure.
The MMRTA rejected the application by Roppen which applied by bike taxis on the ground that Maharashtra has still not started issuing licences for bike taxis.
The app-based aggregators are more popular as they come to the doorstep and commuters get to know the fare beforehand. In addition, the service is air-conditioned. There have always been complaints of traditional cabs and autos refusing to go to some destinations and even of overcharging and rigging of metres.