2,052 cases booked against auto drivers in 2022 for charging excess fare; 399 since Oct: Bengaluru traffic police

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Following the controversy on auto services by cab aggregators Ola and Uber in October, many passengers are now flagging concerns on social media against errant drivers who are charging excess fare and refusing to ferry passengers on meter.

According to the data provided by the Bengaluru traffic police department, a total of 2,052 cases were booked this year against auto drivers who charged excess fare. Meanwhile, 15,550 cases were booked for carrying excess passengers and 1,976 cases were booked for refusing to hire passengers.

However, since October this year, the time period when the government cracked down on the ‘illegal’ operations of Ola, Uber and Rapido’s auto services, a total of 399 complaints were registered with the traffic police department through a helpline number to raise the issue of auto rickshaw drivers charging excess fares and refusing the rides on meter.

Earlier in October, the transport department took action against cab aggregators Uber, Ola and Rapido for charging high fares, much more than the government’s fixed minimum fare for auto services. In addition, a ban on illegal auto services also kicked in because according to the transport department, cab aggregators and bike aggregator Rapido, did not have the license to operate auto services as per the Karnataka On- demand Transportation Technology Aggregators Rules, 2016. While the government had fixed the base fare for auto services for the first two kilometre at Rs 30 and Rs 15 for every subsequent kilometre, ride hailing apps charged nearly Rs 100 for just 2 km.

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Many auto rickshaw drivers alleged that cab aggregators had “destroyed” their livelihoods by charging excess commission for the auto services, leaving auto drivers in the lurch. A lot of auto rickshaw drivers wanted to get off the cab aggregator platform and switch to normal meter business which did not include any middlemen or any commission. However, passengers now feel that auto rickshaw drivers are exploiting them further by quoting excess fares verbally and refusing to go on meter.

Pratik Patel, a working professional, complained that an auto driver demanded Rs 300 from Koramangala to Majestic. “The auto drivers are now demanding excess fares as per their whims and fancies. Especially after the controversy over Ola and Uber auto services kicked in. They are mindlessly demanding fares. Barely 12 days back an auto driver demanded Rs 300 from Koramangala to Majestic. However, after negotiations, we agreed on Rs 250,” said Patel.

He added, “The auto rickshaw drivers have not been accepting any ride requests on Ola/uber since the controversy in October. But they aren’t complying with the meter charges either after that. They just quote a number and say it will be the same via the meter.”

Nilesh Prabhu, a Twitter user posted,” Autos are demanding Rs 800 for 12 km travel in #KRPURAM. This is #looting. Does any auto follow meter?”

Kiran Kumar, another Twitter user, said, “At Baiyappanahalli Metro station, autos refuse to ply short routes and also demand exorbitant price. One traffic ASI was helpless and needs more support there. @SplCPTraffic please help commuters by deploying more personnel and take action against auto mafia.”

M A Saleem, special commissioner of police, traffic, Bengaluru city, said, “In order to solve this issue of excess fare and harassment by autorickshaw drivers, the traffic police department is restarting pre-paid auto services in many places. We have already started one in MG Road, and we will roll out soon in places like Mantri Mall, Commercial Street, Jayanagar 4th block, Forum Mall and also in places where there are no Metro lines.”

The traffic police department also said that following complaints from passengers on their helpline number, Section 133 under the Motor Vehicles Act will be raised and action will be initiated against the violators.

M Manjunath, president of Adarsha Auto and Taxi Drivers’ Union said, “Around 80% of our auto drivers do business honestly, only about 20% of them violate the government rules. The number of cases registered with regards to excess fares is also very less. However, we will be starting an awareness campaign soon to educate the auto drivers about doing business honestly and to not charge excess fares from passengers.”



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