Karnataka govt to launch its own ride-hailing app to take on Ola, Uber
Private cab aggregators like Ola and Uber could soon face stiff competition from Karnataka’s own ride-hailing app, which will be developed by the state’s Transport department.
The likes of Ola and Uber are set to face stiff competition in Karnataka as the state's Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy announced on Wednesday that they will develop their own ride-hailing app. It would serve as an alternative to private cab-hailing companies which have become popular in the last few years. The decision came following a meeting with unions of autorickshaws, cab, and bus drivers on July 31 where their grievances regarding the high commissions charged by these private aggregators came to light.
Announcing his decision, Reddy said, “A decision has been made to develop an application similar to Ola and Uber as the autorickshaw drivers and cab drivers are facing a lot of issues due to high commissions.”
Ola, Uber issues
At the grievance meeting, the autorickshaw and cab drivers expressed their concern about exploitation and high commissions charged by the likes of Ola and Uber. Reddy highlighted an incident where the driver received a compensation of just Rs. 450 on a bill of Rs. 800, with the rest of the amount going directly to the respective company. Acknowledging these issues, Reddy said he would take them to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.
Reddy also said that his department will hold discussions with the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) to establish autorickshaw stands at metro stations in various locations which could make travelling to and fro easier for commuters.
The transport unions have made demands such as the extension of the Shakti scheme to private buses, reimbursement of tickets issued to women as well as a ban on illegal bike taxis in Bengaluru. Moreover, the unions also demand a 5 percent cap on the commissions charged by private aggregators.
Karnataka isn't the first state which has attempted to end the monopoly of private cab companies by launching its own app. The Kerala Savari app was launched by the Kerela government in 2022 as a viable alternative to Ola, Uber, and other private companies. Moreover, the Auto Rickshaw Drivers Union in Bengaluru launched its own app called Namma Yatri which has gained popularity since its rollout.