Pune News : RTO Pune rejects auto permission for cab agrregators

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Pune : Pune Regional Transport Authority (RTA) has denied auto-rickshaw aggregator licenses to popular ride-hailing services Ola and Uber, among others, in a meeting held on Thursday. This decision means that residents of Pune will no longer be able to book auto-rickshaws through these phone-based applications. The RTA has stated that it will seek the state government’s response before proceeding with the applications made by companies for cab aggregators.

The statement from the Pune Regional Transport Officer, Ajit Shinde, mentioned that none of the four applicants, including Ola and Uber, met the requirements specified under the Motor Vehicles Aggregators’ Guidelines, 2020.

The four companies that had applied for auto-rickshaw aggregator licenses are ANI Technologies Pvt Ltd (Ola’s parent company), Uber India Systems Pvt Ltd, Roppen Transportation Services Pvt Ltd (parent company of Rapido), and Kevolution Technologies Pvt Ltd. ANI Technologies and Uber India Systems had also applied for light vehicles (cars) aggregation licenses.

The Supreme Court had ordered the state government to fulfill its role as a regulator in February 2023 and take an expeditious decision on the formation of an aggregator policy. As a result, ride-hailing service companies applied for aggregator licenses with Pune RTO.

App-based taxis and autos have been operational in Maharashtra since 2014, but due to the lack of regulatory policy, there has remained considerable uncertainty about the operations amid protests from competitors, especially rickshaw unions. Ola and Uber have also applied for aggregator licenses to the Maharashtra government, which could enable the government to take action in case of violations by these operators.

On this Dr Keshav Kshirsagar, of Baghtoy Rickshawala Union approached Pune RTO and demanded why they have rejected permission for them as well. He said  “Don’t know why under under which rule RTO officer has given permission to Ola and Uber to run taxi in city. He is working as a CEO of these cab aggregator instead of working as a government officer.’’

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