Tainted Uber restarts Delhi cab ops, applies for fresh licence

US-based online radio cab service Uber said today that it has restarted its operations in New Delhi, having on Thursday for a fresh licence under the amended radio taxi legislation in the capital-state.

Uber was banned from Delhi's roads about a month ago after one of its drivers raped his lone female passenger. The driver was subsequently found to have quite a history-sheet for molesting women, raising the issue of radio cab services not checking the antecedents of its drivers in Delhi and across the nation.

Uber has applied for a license despite the fact that several clauses of the amended legislation go against its business model. The company will have to tweak its functioning significantly in order to be complaint.

In a statement, Uber said that it has applied for a license under the Radio Taxi Scheme ''To reflect our commitment to providing riders with new options for safe and reliable transportation, including the ability to request a radio taxi on demand.''

Meanwhile, the company said it continues to engage with the authorities concerned in Delhi to work towards regulations that better suit its business model.

Recently, Bidhannagar City Police in Kolkata introduced new regulations for on-demand transportation technology aggregators, classifying such companies under the Information Technology Act instead of the Motor Vehicle Act.

''We believe this is the progressive model that ultimately puts the safety of consumers first, while recognising the power of new technologies like Uber that will make city transportation safer,'' Uber said.

The development should bring relief to Uber's huge network of drivers whose livelihood was at stake due to suspended operations.

However, the company has not stated how it plans to meet the various requirements of the new legislations such as having a Radio Taxi board on the top of each vehicle along with having the name of the company written on both sides of the vehicle. These are difficult conditions to meet since Uber does not own the fleet of cars under its network.

Under a Supreme Court mandate, all public vehicles plying on Delhi roads have to run on clean fuel or compressed natural gas, which is considered as a major impediment to the expansion plans of Uber and its competitors. Taxi aggregators are expected to subsidise taxis to install CNG kits in their vehicles.

TaxiForSure, which was also banned from operating in Delhi, has also applied for a license under the amended regulations that facilitated aggregators to operate legally in the country.