Home / News / India /  Explained: How will Maharashtra govt's ban on car-pooling in non-transport vehicles affect commuters?

The Maharashtra government has banned the use of non-transport vehicles for aggregation and car-pooling amid growing concerns over passenger safety. The development came mere days after the Bombay High Court pulled up bike-taxi aggregator Rapido for operating without a license from the Maharashtra government and directed it to immediately suspend services.

What are non-transport vehicles?

Non-transport vehicles are private vehicles that are not allowed to be used for commercial purposes. They can be identified by their white number plates. Commercial purpose vehicles (such as taxis) have yellow license plates. 

What has the government decreed?

Non-transport vehicles including two-wheelers, three-wheelers and four-wheelers are banned (for the ride pooling and aggregation) "in order to ensure road safety of the general public and passengers at large". 

According to reports, the Maharashtra government has sent show-cause notices to Ola and Uber for operating such services illegally.

The government also expressed concerns about the plying of non-transport vehicles registered outside Maharashtra and in turn affecting the economic viability of the vehicles operating on valid permits in the state. 

How will commuters be affected?

The new order prohibits the pooling of non-transport vehicles by aggregators. As such, ride-share options with Ola, Uber and similar companies will face some restrictions. 

It is pertinent to note here that Ola and Uber has halted its bike-sharing services in the state (removing the option from the app) after the government circular. Rapido services remain suspended in the state. Despite the ban, some platforms - such as ride pooling service Bla Bla Cars - had continued to operate in the state.

The government has stated that non-transport vehicles could be permitted to be used as transport vehicles, including for aggregation and ride pooling after “detailed consideration regarding terms and conditions, framework and guidelines".


(With inputs from agencies)

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