On Saturday, the Karnataka government announced a ban on carpooling and advised the commuters to not take rides from the carpooling apps. The state government of Karnataka said that using white board vehicles for commercial purposes such as carpooling is illegal and a fine ranging from ₹5000-₹10,000 will be imposed on the violators.
Companies like BlaBla Car, Quickride, Rideshare, Commute Easy, and Carpool Adda have been running carpooling services in Bengaluru.
What is Carpooling?
Carpooling means to share journeys with more than one person in a car which prevents the other person from taking out his/ her own vehicle and having to drive it on the location himself. In carpooling, one and more people share their car journey using one vehicle which reduces their cost, pollution, traffic, tolls, driving stress etc.
No ban on carpooling, Transport department issues fresh guidelines
The transport department of Karnataka, after facing a major backlash on banning carpooling in Bengaluru, has issued a fresh set of guidelines. Ramalinga Reddy, a minister in the Siddaramaiah government, said that there is no ban on carpooling, however the app aggregators which promote carpooling have to require a license before working.
Apps such as BlaBla Car, Quickride, Commute Easy etc must obtain a license before in order to operate their carpooling services otherwise they will have to pay a fine of up to ₹10,000.
This clarification came after a BJP minister questioned the government ban saying that carpooling helps in reducing the traffic, pollution and travel time.
Why was carpooling banned in Karnataka?
The Karnataka government banned carpooling because of the protest and demands raised by the Taxi associations. They said that these carpooling apps are affecting their daily earnings and in turn they submitted a demand list to the government. The taxi and autorickshaw union recently conducted a Bengaluru bandh in which they demanded an action against carpooling and bike taxis.