Following complaints from the public that aggregators are charging a minimum of ₹100 for auto rides, the Transport Department has issued notices to Ola, Uber, and Rapido.
Transport Commissioner T.H.M Kumar told The Hindu that notices were served on Thursday seeking an explanation. “The aggregators have violated rules by charging exorbitant fares. Following complaints, notices have been issued and further action will be initiated. At present, the issue of the aggregators’ rules is pending before the High Court. These aggregators are taking advantage of the situation and fleecing passengers. Here the drivers are not at fault. Notices have been issued against aggregators as they are charging fare in violation of rules,” said the Commissioner.
Last year, the authorities fixed ₹30 as basic fare (for the first two kilometres) and ₹15 for subsequent kilometres. Off late, the aggregators flouted the rules by fixing their own fares.
For example, to travel from Infantry Road to Vidhana Soudha that has a distance of 2 to 2.5 km, Ola charges ₹113 (ride fare of ₹63 and access fee of ₹50), Uber ₹107, and the Rapido app shows ₹78 as the fare. The Rapido app shows ₹55 up to 3.5 km and ₹16.5 km charged post 2 km. The fare shown by the Rapido is more than the fare fixed by the authorities.
Commuters have vented their ire against the aggregators. Shashank R. said: “There are instances of aggregators charging ₹100 for a short distance travel of 1 to 1.5 km. They are fleecing the commuters and authorities are not taking any action”.
“It is very surprising that no action has been initiated against them. Earlier, drivers used to ask for hefty fares but now these platforms have started looting customers,” said Premalatha.
Transport Department has asked aggregators to stop auto services with immediate effect.