Karnataka permits electric bike taxis to operate in the state Leave a comment

Karnataka on Wednesday permitted electric bike taxis to operate in the state.

This has effectively ended a standoff between bike taxi operators such as Rapido and the state and comes after the Karnataka High Court recently ordered the government to clarify its stand on allowing motorcycle taxis after companies had filed a case in this regard.

“To improve the last-mile connectivity in public transport in Bengaluru, it is proposed to implement the electric bike taxi project,” the state government said in a statement on Wednesday.

The state police had been imposing penalties on drivers and confiscating bikes in the absence of a clear-cut policy that allowed bike taxis to operate freely.

“Bike taxis will promote urban mobility and will act as a first- and last-mile connectivity solution for citizens which in turn assist people to access the public transport and specially for accessing metro services,” the government said in an order.

According to the scheme, only electric bike taxis will be allowed to operate, not those running on petrol and diesel. Customers can travel up to 10 kilometres per trip.

Chief minister B S Yediyurappa, transport minister Laxman Savadi and other government officials were present at the unveiling of the scheme. Electric vehicle manufacturers, operators and aggregators were also present.

Bengaluru-based bike taxi operator Rapido said fuel-based bike taxis also should be supported. “We should not forget that most Bangalore citizens currently own a fuel-based two-wheeler, which can help us solve the challenges of traffic congestion,” said Aravind Sanka, co-founder of Rapido.

Last week, the company had
filed an application with the state transport authority for a licence to operate its bike taxis.

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