High-level committee says no to bike taxis in Bengaluru

Instead of a bike taxi, bike renting is seen as a better option. DH file photo

A high-level committee, set up look into the best ways to provide first and last-mile connectivity in the city, has ruled out the possibility of bike taxis as a solution and emphasised the need for sustainability in the mobility sector.

The government had set up a committee headed by Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) Managing Director Ajay Seth, to come up with “efficient and sustainable transport system in Bengaluru”, following a suggestion by Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy.

Secretaries of transport and urban development departments, transport commissioner, BMTC managing director and additional commissioner of police (traffic) were also part of the committee.

“The Vidhi Centre had cited the Goa and Haryana model to suggest bike taxis for the city. But a majority of the members in the committee noted that two-wheelers were a major cause for accidents and legalising bike taxis will only increase the number of such vehicles. There were concerns that it may hit the revenue of the BMTC and auto rickshaws,” sources said.

Instead of a bike taxi, bike renting was seen as a better option.

Officials on the committee said there was a need for rules, on the lines of aggregator rules for the taxis, to regulate companies offering bikes on rent.

“A regulation aimed at streamlining bike renting in the city, rather than restricting them, to further enhance the quality of service,” an official said.

Cab aggregator Ola and bike-taxi aggregator ‘rapido’ had recently run into trouble by offering bike taxi services without prerequisite permits. Hundreds of bikes were seized by the RTO officials, and the owners of the vehicles were fined for the illegal operations.

Meanwhile, the committee has also emphasised the need for incorporating sustainability in the transport schemes. “The government is already giving a push for electric vehicles with auto-rickshaws. However, the scheme is yet to take off. The committee had recommended that encouragement should be given to the adoption of electric vehicles, including e-buses, to check rising pollution,” a member of the committee said.

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