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Uber, the tech firm that is most definitely not a taxi company, no sir, has applied for a taxi license in New Delhi so its drivers can legally return to the roads there. However, it’s restarted its services without waiting for the license to be granted.
The taxi-esque outfit said in a blog post that it had applied for a Radio Taxi license in the Indian capital “to reflect our commitment to providing riders with more options for safe and reliable transportation, including the ability to request a Radio Taxi on-demand.”
Reuters reported that Uber resumed services in New Delhi on Friday, but quoted a senior transport official as saying this was not permitted – Uber should be waiting for city authorities to grant the license, which may still not happen, or may only happen after alterations to the application.
New Delhi officials banned Uber in December following a driver’s rape of a passenger, saying Uber’s drivers did not have the proper licenses to provide taxi services. Uber subsequently suspended its operations in the city – a rare thing indeed – in order to review its driver vetting procedures.
However, Uber said in its Thursday post that it thought the New Delhi authorities should rather follow the “Kolkata model,” meaning the decision of a police chief in a Kolkata suburb to designate Uber as an IT company, not a taxi firm.
“We believe this is the progressive model that ultimately puts the safety of consumers first, while recognizing the power of new technologies like Uber that will make city transportation safer,” the tax-hailing platform provider wrote.
Uber added that it had toughened up its driver vetting procedures in New Delhi, adding extra layers of screening.