Ola Uses A New Name ‘Ola Fleet’, To Apply For A City Taxi License In New Delhi
Ola has applied for a city taxi licence in New Delhi under the name Ola Fleet, two people directly aware of the matter, including a top government official, told ET, as the company seeks supremacy over rival Uber in the Indian market.
Ola applied for the licence on June 1. The permit typically takes 30-40 days to be granted. San Francisco-based Uber, which has challenged the city taxi scheme in the high court, has not applied for a licence, it confirmed.
“New Delhi is one of the top three cities for both Ola and Uber,” said one person aware of the developments. Both companies, separately, are reaching out to state governments to lobby for better regulations.
Last month, Ola got a licence to operate as an “on-demand transportation aggregator” in Bengaluru. Uber’s application was rejected by the government, claiming incomplete paperwork.
However, the national capital is the most crucial market for both operators as the regulatory issues started from there, after the December 2014 rape of a 27-year-old financial executive allegedly by a driver employed with Uber.
The incident put the spotlight on app-based ride service providers, which were considered by some as unregulated and unsafe. The Delhi government, which has been trying to regulate such services, was able to ensure that both companies put an end to surge pricing earlier this year. “While Ola is trying to legalise its models to be on the right side of the government and investors, Uber is hitting the court with recommendations to the scheme and hoping to maintain the status quo till favourable regulations are passed,” an official said.
Last week, auto-rickshaws and taxis in New Delhi went on strike, demanding action against app-based cab services.
In August last year, the Delhi government introduced the city taxi scheme, opening up mobile app-based taxi aggregators including Ola and Uber to come under the legal framework and register themselves for continuing operations in the national capital.
According to the scheme, any one licence-holder cannot register more than 2,500 cars and needs to follow conditions such as installation of GPS devices, taxi meters and fare regulation.
The licence-holder is expected to ensure that every taxi is a motor cab with a valid fitness certificate issued by the transport department, is driven on clean fuel (CNG, LPG), has an engine capacity of 600 cc and above and a seating capacity not exceeding seven, inclusive of the driver.
Companies operating over 2,500 cabs can apply for additional licences by creating new subsidiaries.