UberPOOL Ride-Sharing Service Is Legal, Uber Says Ahead of Karnataka Deadline

As the three days time given by Karnataka transport department to cab aggregators against offering share services coming to end, Uber Thursday said that it very much believes in the legality of its shared service ‘UberPOOL’.

UberPOOL Ride-Sharing Service Is Legal, Uber Says Ahead of Karnataka DeadlineUber has also started a public petition urging Bangaloreans to support UberPOOL.

“As we believe that UberPOOL is within the law, right now there is no push to stop the product, so there is definitely a discussion going on (with transport department) right now as we speak…also how we can address their concerns,” Uber General Manager, Bengaluru, Christian Freese told reporters in Bengaluru.

He said “the ride share is something that is very much welcome for a city like Bengaluru, we need to work with it, that’s why we are sitting down at the table together with them because, we need to have that voice of the rider, the driver and also the the community of Bengaluru itself on the table to discuss the matter and find the best solution.”

Karnataka Transport Commissioner M K Aiyappa on Monday after meeting with cab aggregators had said that the transport department will not take action against them for next three days for offering share services which it had termed illegal under the Central Motor Vehicle Act and Karnataka On-demand Transportation Technology Aggregators Rules, 2016.

According to the department cab aggregators’ like Uber and Ola have contract carriage permits under which they are allowed for point-to-point pick-ups and drops. They don’t have stage carriage permit to pickup and drop along a particular route.

Stating that UberPOOL is a product that enables driver partners to pick up and drop identified riders through the Uber App under a single contract, the company officials said when a rider chooses UberPOOL, he/she consents to another person sharing the trip and 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.

They said “the law permits a contract carriage permit holder to stop to pick up or set down passengers who are included in the contractual understanding with the driver.

UberPOOL fulfils this requirement and we believe that it does not violate the contract carriage permit.”

Aiyappa said “If they continue (to operate pool services from tomorrow), we will take action including a crackdown.” On challenging the transport department in the court, Freese said “so far there is no notice or anything. Right now we are meeting them and are discussing the matter..we believe we are very much within the law and the guidelines.”

Uber’s public petition while pointing out positive aspects of UberPOOL service states “As a Bangalore resident, you can make a difference by speaking up on how uberPOOL is making our city a better place to live in. Help make sure our city moves forward on ride sharing, through products like UberPOOL and UberMOTO.”

Uber claims that UberPOOL which was launched in Bengaluru in October 2015 has prevented more than 9,364,772 kilometres of unnecessary driving, saved 4,40,623 litres of fuel by allowing us to match riders using similar routes, and cut over 1,037,000 kg of CO2 emissions by sharing a ride.

Aakash Ghosh

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