Karnataka High Court seeks reply from Transport Department on Namma Yatri App, allegation of charging arbitrary fare

Bangalore. The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday asked the state transport department to take a decision on Syed Jafar’s lawyer and sought feedback on the ‘Namma Yatri’ app. ‘Namma Yatri’, a popular ride-hailing app in Bengaluru, has been embroiled in controversy for some time. The latest case in this is that an angry passenger has approached the Karnataka High Court regarding its unethical pricing.

Recently a resident of Bengaluru had filed a writ petition against Juspay Technologies Private Limited, which owns and operates the ONDC-registered platform ‘Namma Yatri’, and the fares notified by the state. And demanded compliance with GST rules. He accused the ride-hailing app of charging exorbitant fares and burdening the passengers in violation of the notification dated 06.11.2021 and notification dated 25.11.2022. The complainant had already submitted a representation in this regard to the Commissioner of Transport Department on 10 July 2023.

In this entire matter, the Commissioner of the Transport Department has now been directed to take a decision on the representation of the complainant within 8 weeks from the date of receipt of the copy of the court order i.e. August 7, 2023. This resident is one of the countless passengers who have been affected by Namma Yatri’s irregular pricing, mandatory ex-consumer tip and have been forced to pay more. Although the app claims to implement the fare set by the government, the ground reality deviates from this due to many other charges being added to the base fare.

‘Namma Yatri App’ charges more than the fare
Namma Yatri charges Rs 10 more than the fare as pickup fee. Furthermore, the app does not show any fixed cost, but provides a range within which the driver can interact with the customer. For example, if the app shows Rs 40-70 for a 2 km ride, drivers insist on paying Rs 70 and they win the deal most of the times. To make matters worse, the app allows a pre-tipping system for drivers to accept rides, and customers will have to additionally tip Rs 10 to Rs 30 for this.

Namma Yatri app implements new rule from September 1
This unprofessional pricing pattern makes Namma Yatri no different from road autos and defeats the basic purpose of limiting fares. Namma Passenger has promoted itself as a zero-commission platform and the entire fare will be passed on to the drivers. However, now it has taken a U-turn. From September 1, drivers will have to pay a subscription fee of Rs 25 for unlimited trips per day or Rs 3.50 per ride (no charge after 10 trips). Although the initial allure of zero commission may have attracted drivers, subsequent discussions of implementing a subscription model have raised doubts among drivers about the long-term affordability of the service.

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