The Transport Department has suspended the licence of app-based taxi aggregator Ola for six months and ordered stoppage of its services in Karnataka. Officials said the decision was taken as the aggregator was operating bike taxis illegally despite several warnings. The order was issued on March 18. “Despite repeated warnings,
was misusing the license granted by the authorities. Bike taxis are not allowed in Karnataka according to government policy,” a senior official with the state’s transport department said on condition of anonymity.In a letter on March 18th, The Regional Transport Office has suspended the license given to Ani Technologies Pvt Ltd, the parent company of Ola. The two page letter states that the ride-hailing app has been illegally operating the bike-taxi services through alleged ‘fake licences’ and said that the company will not be able to run its aggregator service for any vehicles including cars, autos and bikes for the next six months. The current suspension order has been issued to Rapido as well.Rapido is another motorcycle taxi operator, operates in cities such as Karnataka’s capital Bengaluru and Hyderabad. It was not clear what licence Rapido uses to operate in Karnataka. The company did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.
Responding to this notice, Ola issued a company statement saying “We have been closely working with the authorities on this topic, responding to queries and making proactive representations to the ministry. Despite other companies continuing to operate illegally, Ola halted our bike taxi experiment weeks ago, instead seeking the state’s cooperation to develop a legal framework for a pilot that will continue to take advantage of emerging opportunities in the mobility economy. This notification is unfortunate, and we look forward to an opportunity to address these concerns directly with state officials to find a solution for our driver-partners and millions of Ola users in Karnataka.”