Ola has run into trouble with Bangalore’s transport authorities again. The Economic Times reports that Bangalore’s transport department has issued a notice to Ola for flouting its license conditions by running shuttle services in the city. It added that authorities have seized nine vehicles near Manyatha Tech Park, Jayanagar, and Koramangala.
The report quoted additional Transport Commissioner HG Kumar who said that Ola might face suspension of their entire service and have been given 15 days to reply. The Karnataka state transport department had issued a license to cab the company under the new the on-demand cab aggregator rules. Ola declined to comment on the story.
Note that this isn’t the first time Ola Shuttle services faced issues. Back in 2015, Ola Shuttle ran into trouble with Delhi’s transport authority and had to suspend its operations in December. At the time, Ola Shuttle had not obtained permits for shuttle services.
However in Bangalore, at present, only the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) has a stage carriage permit in the city which allows them to run bus services. The BMTC is also protected under the Road Transport Corporation Act, 1950 does not allow private operators to set up competing services, as indicated by this Times of India report. Thus the BMTC enjoys a monopoly on bus and shuttle services.
Note that another Bangalore-based shuttle service ZipGo had to suspend its operations in February 2016 for not having a stage carrier permits. But it looks like the service is back up in the city and the website shows that there are many routes operating.
Rules bite into carpooling services
Note that Ola Share and UberPOOL came under the scanner from transport authorities in Bangalore in January. Transport Commissioner MK Aiyappa at the times said that the permit only allowed for picking and dropping from start to destination with no stops in the middle during a single trip. Ola Share and UberPOOL rides are permissible under the stage carriage permit that allows companies to charge based on stages of a trip. But on checking the app, it looks like Ola Share is still active.