Consultation meeting: Public asks Transport Dept. to launch its own app to provide auto services


A consultation meeting under way in Bengaluru on Tuesday.

A consultation meeting under way in Bengaluru on Tuesday.
| Photo Credit: Bharat Gowda B.R.

The State government setting up its own mobile app aggregating the autos in the city to protect the interests of passengers as well as auto drivers was one of the suggestions at a consultation meeting held on Tuesday on fixing usage fee for mobile-app based auto services offered by Ola, Uber, and other aggregators.

The Transport Department received several suggestions from the public. Some of the participants also took objections to taxi aggregators in the city charging exorbitant fares.

Ravishastri K., resident of Chandapura, said: “As a senior citizen, we are not in a position to afford the fares charged by the aggregators for auto services. Instead, the State government should come up with an app to provide auto services.”

Krishna Raju from Malleshwaram said: “Commuting in Bengaluru using autos has become unaffordable because of the high fares charged by Ola, Uber, and others. To make services affordable for the public, there is a need for a platform which should be controlled by the government.”

Some of the participants also alleged that surge pricing by the aggregators is not transparent. Suggestions were also received for introduction of more prepaid auto stands in the city with token systems.

The department held a series of consultation meetings following the direction by the Karnataka High Court. Recently, the taxi aggregators had approached the court challenging the order of the Transport Department asking them to stop auto services after being accused of charging exorbitant fares. Currently, the court allows them to collect 15% (including 5% GST) above the fare charge. The court had directed the State government to hold consultation meetings with various stakeholders to fix user fees for providing auto services by the aggregators.

In the past meetings, some of the aggregators had asked for 25% commission charge and one of the aggregators had even demanded an increase of basic fare up to ₹55.

As per rates fixed for digital meters, the auto fare of ₹30 is charged for the first two kilometers and ₹15 for subsequent km. A senior official of the Transport Department said that the decision based on the outcome of the meeting will be informed to the court.

(Inputs from Bharath Gowda B.R.)


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