A fleet of Ola cabs stand on the roadside for an arragned pciture in Mumbai. (Source: Ola)

Ola’s Licence Suspended In Bengaluru For Six Months

The Karnataka transport department suspended Ola’s licence in Bengaluru, one of its key markets, for six months as it illegally operated bike taxis in the state.

The cab aggregator cannot operate any vehicle, including cars, autos and bikes, in Bengaluru for six months, according to the suspension order issued by the Regional Transport Office on March 18. BloombergQuint has reviewed a copy of the order.

Ola has also been directed to submit the original copy of the licence within three days of receiving a copy of the suspension order, according to the notice. The suspension order was issued as Ola’s reply to the RTO was unsatisfactory, it said, adding the transport department officials seized several vehicles operating as bike taxis earlier this year.

The transport department last month seized close to 200 bikes of Ola and another bike taxi startup Rapido, after which a notice was issued to both these companies, Tanveer Pasha, president at Karnataka Auto and Taxi Federation, told BloombergQuint over the phone.

According to Section 11(1) of the Karnataka On Demand Transportation Technology Aggregators Rules 2016, the transport department can cancel the licence of the cab aggregators if there’s any violation of rules, the notice said.

Ola said in a statement that it's closely working with the transport authorities and making proactive representations to the state transport ministry. It also sought the state’s cooperation to develop a legal framework for operating bike taxis on a pilot basis.

“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,” an Ola spokesperson said in the statement.