The Delhi government has slammed the brakes on bike-taxi services of Ola, Uber, and Rapido, sending shockwaves through the ride-hailing industry. But what led to this decision, and what could be the road ahead for these companies?
Have you ever taken a ride on one of those super-convenient app-based bike-taxi services provided like Ola, Uber, or Rapido? They always came in handy, provided you don’t have to run down the lane searching for an auto.
But guess what? It’s bad news for all of us who love zipping around on two-wheelers because the Delhi government has put the brakes on these services. And let’s not forget about the ride-hailing companies themselves—they’re facing challenges too. So what’s the deal all about?
Let’s dive in and find out!
The Delhi government has banned commercial ‘bike-taxi’ services like Ola, Uber, and Rapido with immediate effect. This means you can no longer book a bike taxi service with these apps in Delhi. The Transport Department of the Delhi government has issued a public notice in this regard, saying that for the first violation of the rule, a fine of Rs 5,000, while for the second time, a fine of Rs 10,000 and imprisonment of up to 1 year can be imposed. If the rules are violated, the driver can lose his license for three months.
Why Did the Delhi Government Take This Decision?
The Delhi government has said that as per Motor Vehicle Act 1998, using your personal vehicle as a bike-taxi is against the law. All three companies that offered bike taxi services have been banned for the same reason. The government is serious about enforcing this law, and any company that does not follow the law will have to pay a fine of Rs 1 lakh.
Impact of this Decision on Companies
According to The Indian Express, 5 to 7.5 lakh trips are made by bike-taxi every week in Delhi, including the ones offered by Uber, Ola and Rapido. That’s a huge number, and it’s clear that these companies are really feeling the heat.
A few days ago, the Supreme Court denied bike taxi aggregator Rapido’s appeal for relief against the Maharashtra government’s decision to deny them a license. Additionally, in July 2019, the Madras High Court had already banned Rapido from providing bike taxi services in Tamil Nadu until the state government makes the necessary rules.
As of the time of writing this article, there has been no official statement from Ola, Uber, and Rapido. However, Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gehlot announced on 20th February 2023 that the policy is still in its initial stage and will be implemented soon.
According to Business Standard, the officials have shared details about the proposed policy being developed by the Delhi government. The policy intends only to allow electric two-wheelers to be used as bike taxis, meaning that only electric bikes will be given taxi status in Delhi.
It remains to be seen how the companies will react to these decisions made by the Delhi government.
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