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Karnataka: Ola, Uber auto drivers get anxious over 5% convenience fee rule and its fallout


The Karnataka government recently announced a new directive under which regional transport authorities would now charge five percent in convenience fees and GST from ride hailing companies, such as Ola and Uber. The 5 percent charge would be levied on the rides fulfilled by autorickshaw drivers linked with these aggregators. As a result, there is growing unrest among autorickshaw drivers in the state, they worry that the new rule might burn a hole in their pockets.

Aș per a PTI report, the Ola Uber Drivers and Owners’ Association (OUDOA), president, Tanveer Pasha has blamed the Karnataka government for not presenting the case in front of the Karnataka High Court properly. According to him, the state government should have first brought an amendment to the Karnataka On-Demand Transportation Technology Aggregators’ Rules. At present the rules have no provisions for autorickshaw rides in them.
Before the new directive was put in place, Karnataka had a government fixed minimum charge of Rs 30 for an autorickshaw ride. Above that, customers got charged Rs 15 for every km. However, accounting for the 5 percent increase through convenience fees and GST, the rides will now get costlier by approximately 80 paise for every km.


While the increase may not seem to be so exorbitant on the face of it, rickshaw drivers are now anxious that the ride hailing companies may find ways to pass over the cost, on to passengers and drivers. As per the report, autorickshaw driver Thimmappa told PTI, “These Ola-Uber companies were charging exorbitantly due to which the government had to intervene. We don’t know how they will use this latest order to burn a hole in our pockets.”

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The report also stated that Ola Cabs denied to comment on the new 5 percent convenience fees.

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