Pune RTA vs. Ola and Uber: License Dispute Heads to Final Hearing

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Reported by Sumit Singh

Pune, 19th June 2024: Online passenger transport companies Ola and Uber are facing challenges from the Regional Transport Authority (RTA) regarding their licenses. The final hearing, scheduled for Tuesday before the State Transport Appellate Tribunal, was postponed. Both companies and the Regional Transport Department (RTO) have submitted their arguments, and the final hearing will now take place on July 8.

Due to the absence of a state motor vehicle aggregator policy, Ola (Ani Technologies) and Uber India Systems applied to the RTO under the Central Government’s Motor Vehicle Aggregator Policy. The application was reviewed by the RTA on March 11. In a meeting chaired by District Collector Dr. Suhas Diwase, the license applications for Ola and Uber were rejected.

Ola and Uber had one month to appeal the decision before the State Transport Appellate Tribunal. They opted for arbitration against the rejection, with their case first heard on April 22. The companies argued that in the absence of a state vehicle aggregation policy, no action should be taken against them. The RTO also presented its stance. The final hearing was initially set for June 18 but was postponed due to the arbitrator’s absence, and it is now rescheduled for July 8.

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Additionally, the RTA has increased the fare for air-conditioned taxis to Rs 37 for the first one and a half kilometers and Rs 25 for each subsequent kilometer. However, Ola and Uber have not implemented this fare increase. Despite multiple meetings chaired by the District Collector, no resolution was reached. Ultimately, the District Collector decided to reject the license applications of these companies, prompting them to challenge the decision before the State Transport Appellate Tribunal.