Why bike taxis in some of the states of India has been led to ban?


­Most of the daily commuters who live in Indian cities deal with traffic congestion while commuting to work. While the people who travel in their own vehicles find themselves in the long queue of vehicles, the people who rely on public transport like buses have no choice but to deal with the huge crowd in cities like Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore. The cabs in Bangalore and Chennai is an excellent option to avoid the hassles, but you end up paying a huge amount which can be inconvenient considering the distance you travel. At a point where you want to avoid driving through busy roads and consider not paying high taxi fares, there is an option, which some people are completely unaware of; Bike Taxis. Though introduced in many states in India, most of the states have banned its use as a ‘taxi’.

Why some states banned Bike Taxis?

When it comes to the types of vehicle the people own, majority of Indians has two-wheelers compared to the cars. This means two-wheelers rule most of the Indian roads. However, despite the popularity of motorcycles, the idea of bike taxis hasn’t worked well in the country. Till 2015, Goa was the sole state that permitted bike taxis. Later, many startups introduced bike taxis in several states in the country. But the unclear laws have forced many to shut their operations, though some startups like Rapido and Ola Bikes tasted success. The reason why the states banned bike taxis could be the following:

  • Lack of clarity on rules and regulations governing bike taxis.
  • India, having a quasi-federal structure of governance allows the state to take decisions on motor transport, even if there is a central board to draft the laws.
  • Safety Concerns

The central government has passed a guideline in 2016 allowing state governments to license around bike taxis. Yet, as most states themselves has no regulations on the same, they are hesitating to permit bikes as a means of public transport. Though the states like Haryana, Goa, Telangana, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh have authorized commercial bike-taxi services, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh still considers bike-hailing as illegal. The reason could be because the cabs in Bangalore and cabs in Chennai are more familiar and accessible for the local people than the infamous bike taxis.

Would the situation change?

Bike Taxis has many pros over the cab facilities. It is one of the most convenient options for the last mile and first-mile connectivity as it offers you a, faster, affordable ride. However, only clear rules and regulations from the government can wipe off the confusion regarding the bike taxis. As the cabs in Bangalore has well-structured policies and rules on operations, the state government should also draft a rule for the bike taxi services. The unclear regulations have already halted the operations of many startups within one year of its launch; hence the survival of the bike taxis depends on the legal rules.