Bengaluru: Transport department to crack down on commercial carpooling apps

Bengaluru: The Transport Department has decided to come down heavily on mobile phone car pooling apps, which allow private cars to share rides by charging a certain amount, which is in violation of transport rules.

These apps don't have any monitoring system and have been created to help people to carpool to reduce traffic congestion. But in the city, individuals or private car owners are using the apps to make a quick buck by offering rides at a certain price.

A senior officer from the transport department said, "Recently, we seized a vehicle bearing Telangana registration and penalised the driver, as we got information that he was ferrying people by charging them. This is a blatant violation of the rule of commercial vehicles. These carpool operators charge lesser when compared to the cab aggregators."

He said, "While digging more into it, we found that there are numerous such apps online and anyone can install and use them. We have no problem with people carpooling, but charging them is against the rules."

The officer said that there are too many risks involved in such operations, as the private vehicle does not cover the insurance for other commuters unlike commercial vehicles, which is useful during any accidents.

These mobile phone ride sharing apps allow the driver to share the details of his route, vehicle number and contact number. Other people using the app get the information and they can contact each other to negotiate the price.

Another officer said that these apps are mostly being used by techies. "We are planning to conduct a special drive and impound private vehicles that are being used for commercial purpose. The database of these apps is also being collected and we will ensure that the awareness is spread, as most of them are not aware of such rules," he added.

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