Govt wants private carpooling to be a no-profit no-loss service
Private ridesharing to be app-based, non-commercial, KYC compliant, according to a draft proposal.
The draft will go for public comments soon, the official told ET. “These are basic guidelines for carpooling which the state governments can implement at their own discretion.”
The Centre wants to ensure that carpooling is done on a no-profit no-loss basis. “We want to ensure that this does not become a commercial activity,” the official said. So, a vehicle owner must operate on a model where only the cost of the ride is split.
Also, pooling by private vehicle owners will be allowed only through mobile apps. Aggregators will need to ensure that KYC — or, the process of verifying the identity of a client — for both the vehicle owner and the riders is complete. The vehicle owner will have to declare trip details before the start of a trip.
The new guidelines will also ensure that the states get some revenue from carpooling.
“So far, state governments were not getting any revenue from carpooling,” the official said. “We will propose that aggregators should bring out a model where states also get some revenue. Otherwise there may be a sudden clampdown and these apps are shut. If they are getting some revenue, then state authorities will look after them.”
Existing carpooling apps such as Quick Ride and BlaBlaCar will need to tweak their applications to meet the new requirements.
Cab aggregators such as Uber and Ola will need to develop a separate platform to allow pooling by private vehicle owners, the official said. “It’s not possible with their existing setup.”
ET had in early July reported that the central government was supporting shared-mobility, whether based on the Uber model, or carpooling by private vehicle owners, as it looks to reduce congestion on roads.
One of the agenda items for the National Mission for Transformative Mobility is vehicle pooling and the guidelines will be largely in tandem with the same.
In June this year, the Karnataka transport department asked Ola and Uber to discontinue the “ridesharing” feature on their mobile applications on the grounds that it was hurting the income of cab drivers.
As part of wider guidelines to incentivise electric vehicles, the Centre in a letter issued on July 17 had also asked state governments to promote shared mobility to reduce congestion on roads, and tackle pollution at the same time.