The Karnataka government after laying down stricter laws and ultimately banning cab aggregators from operating in state, is finally ready to offer its first valid licence to — yes, you guessed it right! — Ola.
Ola Cabs will be the first app-based taxi service aggregator to operate under a licence issued by the Karnataka state transport authority.
This will be one of the first licensing orders issued by the government, under the Karanataka On-demand Transportation Technology Aggregator Rules 2016. The government had set down the rules to not only make the process of registration of cab drivers easier, but had also relaxed and subsidized the licensing fee for the aggregators.
HG Kumar, additional commissioner of transport and state transport authority in a statement said that,
The licence will be ready in two days. They have fulfilled the conditions under the new rule and furnished details of 100 vehicles. These vehicles have city and state taxi permits. The company has also paid more than Rs 1 lakh as security deposit.
Ola might be the first one to get a licence to operate in Karnataka, but it hasn’t forgotten about its sister company Taxi For Sure, that now operates under its wing. The parent company has applied for a separate licence for the same.
Kumar also believes that Ola and other cab aggregators have been hesitant to apply for an official licence because they didn’t want the government to put a cap on their surge pricing and operate at a fixed pricing model as directed by the new rules.
According to the aggregator rule, the ride hailing services need to have a fleet of minimum of 100 cabs, and can have a maximum of 15,000 cabs. The cabs will also come with a tamper-proof GPS devices and detailed technical refinements for the cabs in the aforementioned rule.
Secondly, many of their cabs had GPS devices but did not match up to the required quality and specifications. However, the 100 vehicles that were shown as fleet to us were ratified by RTOs to be fit for operation,
adds Mr. Kumar.
The ideation of surge pricing was first introduced by Uber in the United States to tackle their growing demand to their favor and extract some revenues in the process. Indian cab-hailing services like Ola, Taxi For Sure followed pursuit to introduce surge pricing in India.
We’ve mailed Ola Cabs for a confirmation regarding the same, and are waiting on an official comment.