All set for e-bike taxis to take off in State Leave a comment

For the first time, private players, individuals, firms and aggregators, will be able to run electric bike taxis in cities across the State.

The government on Wednesday brought out ‘The Karnataka Electric Bike Taxi Scheme, 2021’ with the aim of improving first and last-mile connectivity, reducing carbon emissions, and generating self-employment opportunities.

Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa on Wednesday released a booklet on the scheme and interacted with various aggregators and manufacturers of e-bikes.

Flat rate

Operators can provide the service for a distance of 10 km, and charge a flat fare in two slabs, first up to 5 km and the second from five to ten kilometres. Pillion riders or passengers shall be offered the most direct and shortest route. The distance of the journey travelled by the hirer shall be measured on the basis of an odometer fitted on the bike. The fare shall be collected on the basis of distance and not on the basis of journey time, stated the booklet.

Operators must provide helmets to the pillion rider booking the service and the rider must wear a jacket with reflective colour marked as ‘electric bike taxi’. Riders must have valid DLs and the service provider must check the antecedents of riders. In case of an individual, the applicant shall submit the antecedents report from the Police Department at the time of filing application for licence.

The scheme also states that the name and phone number of the service provider or individual and bike driver must be painted on the wheeler or firmly affixed on the exterior of the body of the vehicle.

Age limit

Minors below the age of 15 will not be allowed to use e-bike taxi service. The pillion rider can carry only a normal size backpack or handheld briefcase of reasonable weight while riding.

The scheme has also made it mandatory to carry a first-aid box in the vehicles. GPS tracking of vehicles shall be adopted by the service provider having more than 50 bike taxis and links or feeds shall be shared with enforcement or administrative authority whenever required.

The former principal secretary of the Transport Department Anjum Parwez said, “The government has also interacted with operators such as Ola, Uber, Rapido, Bounce and other manufacturers. During the interactions, many suggestions have come from the representatives. This scheme is also aimed at individuals running e-bike taxis and generating income in the coming days.” The scheme will come into effect after it gets notified in the gazette.

Approvals needed

The approval of the State transport authority is required for private players to operate more than 100 e-bikes. The Regional Transport Authority can give approval of up to 100 bikes. Individuals need to approach the jurisdictional secretary of RTA for a license.

Exemptions offered

The CM said the State government will give tax and permit exemptions to those running e-bike taxis.

Officials have said that in Bengaluru, more than five players have shown interest in operating e-bike taxi services.

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