In the backdrop of the incident in Delhi in which a 27-year-old woman executive was allegedly raped by a cab driver, Pune Regional Transport Office (RTO) has intensified its drive of checking radio cabs in the city, however, the RTO has not taken any decision on banning Uber in Pune. The RTO Pune, meanwhile, has issued identity cards to cab drivers and has made it mandatory to carry these cards along with them or face action if found without one on duty. With regard to Uber specifically, Regional Transport Officer Jitendra Patil told Business Standard, "There is no permit registered under the name of Uber for running the cab service in Pune. Bookings are now done in the virtual world using mobile apps and the internet. It is difficult to locate the taxis as well. Therefore, we can not take any action against the company. Also, we have not received any kind of directives from the Ministry of Home and Ministry of Transport. However, the RTO inspectors and traffic police will check driving licences and identity cards of drivers, permits of cars and fitness of the vehicle." Patil further added, "The owners have been asked to maintain a feedback system and regularly monitor feedback on individual drivers.
The tracking devices like the GPS tracking or cell phone tracking should be kept up to date and should be monitored. Special attention should be given to trips in which woman passengers are traveling." According to Patil, identity cards have been issued to over 2,000 taxi and cab drivers by the RTO. The rest who hold valid driving licences should get the cards issued.
There are 11,000 vehicles registered as 'tourist cars' with the Regional Transport Office in Pune and 260 are registered under the name of radio cab companies. The remaining cabs ply on city roads under the names of known radio cab agencies, but are actually outsourced services to smaller travel firms.
Radio cabs like Ola, Taxiforsure, T-cabs, Wings, Traveltime, Meru are the players who operates radio cabs in Pune. The two cab firms that have their vehicles registered under their names are Wings, which has about 200 cars in its fleet, and Traveltime that has over 60 vehicles.
On Tuesday, Pune police held a meeting of radio cab services owners in the city to discuss the safety measures for passengers. Pune police had said that they were to write to the Regional Transport Officer (RTO) asking them to strictly implement norm of verification of the drivers employed by the travel companies and cab providers. Police said that they are ready to facilitate the character verification of the drivers.
Uber cab services are available in Bangalore, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Kolkata and Pune.