The Mumbai state government has banned carpooling and bike-sharing apps that utilize non-transport vehicles. The transport department and the Regional Transport Office will conduct a crackdown on such aggregating applications. The changes have taken place after Rapido-the bike aggregator application was suspended on January 19.
Non-transport vehicles are defined as those vehicles which are not registered with yellow number plates but are still used for commercial purposes.
Many such application-based car and bike aggregators are being used in Mumbai. The useful sources in the RTO have mentioned that such apps come with carpooling and bike-sharing services for the users.
An RTO officer has opened up regarding the matter stating that such apps present different offers on rates and pricing, which are not approved by the Mumbai government. In addition, there is no control or monitoring of the app-based operator, the riders, and the users of the services who register themselves in such apps and utilize their services.
He has cited an example to explain the phenomenon saying, that most apps invite other users on the application to join a particular route and travel at the same time in a non-transport vehicle. The apps decide the fares or points which are deducted from the accounts of the user who starts the carpool or the ride.
In addition, these apps represent superficial pros such as how sharing rides reduces air pollution, reduces carbon footprint proves to be sustainable for the environment, and even promotes the false statement that carpooling enhances professional networks.
The transport department has further added that there is no limit over such activities, and the Maharashtra government on January 19 has decided to prohibit the use of non-transport vehicles which includes two-wheelers, three-wheelers, and four-wheelers for aggregation and carpooling.
A senior official in the transport department has responded about the matter stating that the officials are working on the final details of what steps should be taken next, and they are looking to work out a mechanism to reduce shush activities of carpooling and ride-sharing platforms that use non-transport vehicles.
The Maharashtra Government’s decision to ban carpooling has disrupted the lives of common people says Rapido
At the same time, Rapido-the bike-taxi aggregator application owned by Roppen Transportation Services Private Limited has alleged that the decisions taken by the Maharashtra Government to prohibit private aggregators and ride-pooling vehicles have deprived millions of citizens from utilizing their rights to a reliable and efficient method of local transportation.
Around two lakh employees are suffering from the drastic decision taken by the Maharashtra Government.
A Rapido spoke person has said that the arbitrary decision by the government will result in poor transport facilities for the commuters and a lack of urban infrastructure that does not provide low-cost connectivity. Rapido will continue to look for opportunities to support and provide a source of income to the employees and their families, whose livelihoods will be severely affected by the decision. They are presently looking for judicial remedies, including the arising problems from the rejection of the license because of the lack of the state government’s will to design a cohesive policy.
Rapido has claimed that the carpooling app has a massive base of 1,40,000 bike captains and 70,000 auto captains that they cater employment to. However, the company has refused to disclose the number of bikes and auto rickshaws that are operating under their platform.
Furthermore, the company has claimed that it has a tremendous chain of 9 lakh bike customers and 5 lakh customers commuting through their autos daily in Mumbai. However, they have not yet mentioned the date from which the data has been extracted.
Previously, the Karnataka Government declared the cab and carpooling services provided by different platforms like Ola, Uber, and Rapido Bike Taxi illegal and asked them to discontinue their services in the region.
The notice from the State Government was shared that the auto services should be discontinued and they should not charge more price than what is prescribed by the state government.
The action was taken after the commuters complained to the government that the companies charge a minimum fare of 100 INR as the base fare. But as per the government policy, the auto drivers are allowed to charge a fare at a fixed rate of 30 INR for the first two kilometers followed by 15 INR thereafter.
edited and proofread by nikita sharma