BENGALURU: App-based bike aggregator Rapido on Tuesday announced filing for the bike taxi service application with State Transport Authority (STA).
However, the transport department maintains that no decision has been taken so far. Rapido, in a statement, also said that it is planning to ramp up hiring 100 women captains in Bengaluru by the end of 2022.
The move came after Karnataka high court directed the state government to consider applications seeking permits for motorcycle taxis within two months.
“The company also plans to provide rental electric two-wheelers for potential captains (riders) that can help them earn an income as per their convenience. With the recent order by the Karnataka high court, ambiguity regarding bike taxi legality is now set to resolve” said a press release.
Pavan Guntupalli, co-founder, Rapido, said, “Bengaluru is one of our top cities in terms of usage and with the ongoing updates in the legal framework for our operations, we want to on-board more women captains to give the local sheroes a chance to become economically independent through a safer, choice based and support led experience.”
Further, the press release stated: “The Karnataka high court in a recent case filed by a leading transport aggregator has observed that under the law, a motorcycle taxi can be used for hire on which a passenger could be carried on pillion. Court further observed that a motorcycle taxi has been categorized as a transport vehicle by the central government under the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. Therefore, in light of the provisions under law, the Court allowed various aggregators to make their respective applications to the relevant STA for renting of motorcycle/taxi service for hire”.
“Rapido has also filed its application with the STA for motorcycle/taxi service and is looking forward to a positive response. Rapido is working very closely with various state governments and is open to working with Karnataka Government to frame guidelines for regulating the same. With the impact of the pandemic on families, ease of lockdown restrictions and the increasing demand of bike taxi rides, the company aims to adopt a bullish growth strategy for Bengaluru and be committed towards creating more reliable jobs in the city”, it said.
State yet to take a decision
In 2020-21, the state government proposed implementing an electric bike taxi project to improve last mile connectivity of public transportation.
However, the state transport department has not yet framed any rules. Sources said the department has proposed draft rules with provisions like yellow number plate and mandatory first-aid box and the driver and rider should wear protective helmets with ISI mark.
The average fare proposed was Rs 5 per km. “The bike taxi file is with the transport minister. He has to take a final decision on this subject” said a transport department official.