BENGALURU: Transport Department officials raided the premises of taxi aggregator Taxi For Sure on Tuesday and directed it to immediately stop booking services till the company registers with the Regional Transport Authority.
The raid comes a day after the premises of Uber, another aggregator service, was raided and the service banned.
Joint Commissioner Narendra Holkar, along with other officials, raided the office in JP Nagar 2nd phase around 2.30 pm and examined the company’s registration and the details of its active drivers.
Officials of the company were unable to answer the questions to the satisfaction of the authorities and as a result, the order to stop services was issued on the spot. “An aggregator also requires a licence. What you are doing is illegal and wrong. Did you even approach the RTA to understand what steps to take?” asked an irate Holkar.
The company had attended a recent meeting held by the Transport Commissioner and the Police Commissioner when it was told that registration would be mandatory.
Deena Jacob, finance controller, Taxi For Sure, told the Transport Department officials that the company was in the process of installing embedded GPS tracking devices in all cabs signed on with them. She agreed that if the driver chose to switch off the mobile phone provided to him, the company cannot track the cab. “We have completed the process (of installing embedded GPS) in 250 cabs and will finish the remaining by the end of the week,” she told them.
Taxi For Sure currently has around 2,000 active drivers. Some of the drivers met the RTA team members when they were leaving and asked them to allow the service for some time before the ban is made effective. However, Holkar insisted that they could not allow illegal operations to continue as the company had not registered with the RTO.
Speaking to reporters after the raid, co-founder Aprameya Radhakrishna said, “We will work with the government and take the necessary steps. We will get a clarification and move forward.”
The company believes that since it is a technology services provider which does not own the cabs it operates, there was no need for it to register with the RTA. However, in the past, police and the RTA have made it clear that aggregators would have to register as well.