BMTC, cab & auto unions unhappy with govt allowing e-bike taxis in Bengaluru | Bengaluru News Leave a comment

BENGALURU: While the government has given the green signal to electric bike taxis in the city, many stakeholders say their concerns have not been addressed.
BMTC, autorickshaw and taxi unions have been opposing bike taxis as this mode is likely to adversely affect their revenue. Commuters, however, say bike taxis should be allowed as they are faster and cheaper than the other options.
On Thursday, app-based cab union members led by Tanveer Pasha submitted a representation to the transport commissioner against bike taxis, saying: “The transport department has not yet consulted us about bike taxis. We requested them not to give licences to operate bike taxis in the city. This will affect lakhs of cab and auto drivers across the state, who are already hit by the pandemic.”
Last week, the government unveiled the Karnataka Electric Bike taxi Scheme, 2021, mainly to improve first- and last-mile connectivity in Bengaluru. The scheme will apply only to battery- operated electric motorcycles or electric bikes. The distance between a trip’s origin and destination should not be more than 10km. The licensee should charge flat fare in two slabs: up to 5km and 5-10km.
In fact, firms like Rapido have been operating bike taxies (non-electric) in the city since 2016. But for the past few weeks, there were reports of Namma Chalakara Trade Union allegedly stopping Rapido riders and telling them to halt operations. While Rapido officials did not comment, union president K Somashekhar, said: “It’s illegal to run taxis with white-board vehicles. In fact, pillion riders won’t even get insurance in case of an accident.”
A senior BMTC official said allowing bike taxis will further affect the cash-strapped corporation’s revenue. “Our ridership has already been hit due to Namma Metro, app-based taxis and now Covid. Bike taxis will be the final nail in the coffin,” the official added.
No licence yet
Transport department officials said so far they have not given licence to any firm to operate bike taxis in the city. “Limited EV-charging facilities and suitable two-wheeler models are the main challenges,” they said.
However, the government, which announced an electric bike taxi project in its 2020-21 state budget, was confident private players would show interest. Vivekananda Hallekere, CEO and co-founder, Bounce, said: “We will explore this opportunity. We believe in all forms of shared mobility and are open to the opportunity to solve commute problem using this approach as well. We welcome the idea of e-bike taxis. This will encourage companies to move to EV.”
Amit Gupta, co-founder and CEO, Yulu Bike, said: “At this moment, we don’t have plans to run bike taxis. We believe our service model provides the most affordable mobility option to citizens, so we will continue to operate in self-driven vehicles.”

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.