Residents of Bengaluru will soon have the option of choosing authorised electric bike taxis with the State Transport Authority on Tuesday resolving to issue licence to two companies.
“We have cleared the applications of two companies Blu Smart and Bounce. The licences will be issued soon. The licensing of a third company is in the final stage,” Transport Commissioner S N SIddaramappa told DH.
The state government had notified the ‘Electric Bike Taxi Taxi Scheme’ last year, with the vision of providing affordable last-mile connectivity to passengers of public transport.
As per the rule, the GPS-enabled electric bike taxis can operate for a maximum distance of 10 km between origin and destination with a maximum of one pillion rider.
A flat fare will be fixed by the department for 5 km and 10 km.
Officials said the maximum fare could be about Rs 50, subject to revision from time to time. “It’s the initial phase of the bike taxi regime. Though the policy has covered most of the legal requirements, there are several issues that will crop up as the operations began. We will assess the situation and take necessary measures,” an official said.
The official said that the department expects more companies to vie for the bike taxi market in the coming days. “At present some companies are operating the petrol-run bikes as taxis illegally. We are moving the high court against these unauthorised activities where both the passengers and riders’ safety is at stake. We hope to streamline the services within the next few months,” he added.