Uber maintains that its carpooling service UberPOOL is not in violation of the contract carriage permit in Bangalore. In a statement, the company said that the law permits a contract carriage permit holder to stop to pick up or drop passengers who are included in the contractual understanding with the driver.
“When a rider chooses UberPOOL through the Uber App, he/she consents to another person sharing the trip. There is a clear understanding between all the riders on the trip and the Driver Partner that the trip and the vehicle will be shared. The App also identifies all the riders and the Driver Partner,” Uber said in the statement.
Uber also pointed out the committee report on Urban Mobility which was accepted by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways which had recommended seat sharing in taxis as eco-friendly. “Nevertheless, we have taken into account the concern expressed by the Transport Department and will be seeking to address them,” Uber added in the statement.
More than 25% of Uber’s total trips in Bangalore are UberPOOL trips
Last month, Ola Share and UberPOOL came under the lens from the Karnataka State Transport Commissioner who had termed the service illegal. The commissioner had asked the cab aggregators to stop the service and seized 30 cars. Traffic inspectors were asked a book a ride and seize the vehicle after dropping the other passenger, as indicated by this Economic Times report.
Car pooling being reviewed in Chennai as well
In Tamil Nadu, car pooling services were also being reviewed. A committee formed by the state transport department classified taxis as a separate category of contract carriages and has decided to regulate their service after conducting talks with Uber and Ola, as indicated by this New Indian Express Report.
“Ridesharing products like uberPOOL are the future of urban mobility, helping decongest cities by getting more people into fewer cars and letting riders move around their city more affordably. We are yet to receive any indication from the concerned authorities regarding intent to pause uberPOOL services in Chennai,” a spokesperson said.