Dec 24, 2022, 00:11 am
Pune’s Regional Transport Officer (RTO) has advised passengers not to use the Rapido app after the Regional Transport Authority headed by collector Rajesh Deshmukh denied it a licence to operate as a bike and autorickshaw aggregator.
“The Regional Transport Authority (RTA) has refused Rapido a licence to provide aggregation services for bikes and autos. Considering this, citizens are requested not to use Rapido but opt for safe transport through licensed vehicles,” RTO Ajit Shinde said in a press statement.
This is the second time that the authority has refused a licence to Rapido, which offers cellphone-based bike-hailing service. Earlier, Roppen Transportation Services Pvt Ltd, the firm that launched the app, applied to the RTO on March 16 but it was rejected over lacunae in the application.
Rapido then moved the Bombay High Court, which on November 29 directed the RTO to reconsider the app’s application.
The RTO also said that the state had no policy in place on bike taxis, nor had any permit been issued for such a service. There is no fare regulation for such a service, it added. “Roppen Transportation Services Pvt Ltd filed a fresh application on November 30 seeking an aggregator’s licence for two-wheeler and three-wheeler transport. We perused the application based on the central government guidelines and provided the applicant due opportunity to address the objections raised by us….Thus, as the applicant failed to resolve the queries raised, the RTA rejected the application in its meeting on December 21,” Shinde said.
Rapido, in a statement, said: “We are in receipt of the order by the Pune RTO and are currently exploring all options, including legal, to contest this arbitrary order. Our actions are guided by the vision of providing millions of Pune commuters a convenient, efficient and cost-effective method of getting around, and importantly, the livelihoods of 57,000 Rapido Captains and their families. If any coercive action is taken against us on ground, it would amount to an overreach on the part of the Pune RTO and interference with a protective order in force granted by the Honorable Supreme Court.”