Pune: Online Auto Rickshaw aggregator companies such as Ola, Uber and Rapido have been discovered to be operating illegally in Pune. The Regional Transport Authority, Pune had denied their aggregator licenses for non-compliance with the ‘Motor Vehicle Aggregate Guidelines’. Despite this, the companies are still offering their services through their platforms, prompting authorities to urge citizens not to use illegal transport services.
Ajit Shinde, the Regional Transport Officer, confirmed that the licences of four companies in the three-wheeler auto rickshaw category were declared illegal and denied permission to operate. He also urged the public not to use these companies’ services.’’ He further urged that people can opt for a legal way of commuting.
Shinde further told that anyone can apply for permission but these companies have not reapplied since their initial rejection. The situation has raised concerns about who will take action against these ride-hailing companies that are operating illegally in the city.
Some auto-rickshaw drivers depend heavily on these aggregator services, as the majority of their business comes from them. However, some commuters have expressed dissatisfaction with the appeal not to use illegal transport services, stating that the authorities are not aware of the ground realities and that people prefer to use online booking services for their convenience, especially during hot weather conditions.
Maya Jadhav, one of the commuters from Baner said, “Auto drivers use to deny short distance trips as they only want long distance trips.They are not ready to offer short distance trips.Hence we always use to book an auto by using these aggregators.’’