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Can you earn by sharing personal vehicles?

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You might have read the news that Mr. Nitin Nair was penalised by Mumbai cops for sharing his personal car with strangers. Read more at goo.gl/VNFxH9

It is in larger interest of our society that we are discussing about it. Law seems to be ambiguous on ride-sharing on personal vehicles however many carpool apps do provide features where one can share cost (not make profits). Usually, all of these apps restrict users to share cost within the range of fuel/maintenance cost.

In stricter terms, Motor Vehicle Act (1988) states that personal car cannot be used for HIRE or REWARD hence traveling with strangers (other than your colleagues, friends and relatives) can be termed as HIRE which is prohibited. The interpretation of REWARD can be that one may share cost but not make any profit however there is thin line difference between that. Usually, when personal vehicle-owners start earning more than the fuel cost than that becomes absolutely illegal and many apps do not check that.

Recently, We became part of a larger forum with IAMAI in which Ola/Uber are also included, which is trying to talk to Govt to clarify such clauses or bring ride-sharing related clauses.

Nowadays, we see that some big companies encourage their employees to share personal vehicles and even make profit from them (as they do not have any check in place) without realizing that they are putting their employees on risk.

Here is RideAlly’s take on carpooling/ bikepooling on personal vehicles.

At RideAlly, we allow trusted users to share car/bike without earning from beginning where user can choose not to share any cost (offer rides absolutely free) or at max, share fuel/maintenance cost by limiting the earning to 4 pts/km. The points could be reimbursed for Fuel card over time. Despite having features, we did not promote it among users due to not able to get authentic information on laws. Still, we saw that many commuters used our platform to not share cost at all and helping self/society to reduce traffic/pollution. We realised that most humans would like to share cost of travel on private vehicles which is restricted by law hence we moved to cab business. Also, we launched community and workplace feature where one can share only within their community or company without sharing cost.

RideAlly provided ride-sharing platform to corporates where employees cannot earn (or make profit) from each other however company may reward/recognise such employees based on our reports. This way, Corporate knows the behaviour of employees, how are they sharing and safety/security/legal aspects are well taken care.

Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic), Bengaluru, R Hithendra, clarified his stand to press, “Bengaluru Mirror” on 26-Jun-2018 and he said, “We don’t want to fine anyone who gives a lift to someone in need or shares a vehicle. I do not think this could be a commercial activity [here]. In fact, we want to support carpooling in Bengaluru”. The article can be read at, “Bengaluru will never do what Mumbai did — challan a do-gooder

Do follow the advice from Traffic Police as mentioned in above article and share rides in legal way.

Have a safe/secure travel,
Hariprakash Agrawal,
Founder/CEO, RideAlly

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