Brakes on bike taxi service: working professionals already ‘missing’ pocket-friendly ride

Bike taxis have been asked to steer clear of the roads. 

Bike taxis have been asked to steer clear of the roads. 
| Photo Credit: file photo

As the Delhi government put the brakes on the bike taxi service, it’s office-goers like Natasha Tewari and Nishant Ranjan who have been left unhappy. Although the bike taxis are still operating, Ms. Tewari, 24, is worried that soon she will have to negotiate the peak hour traffic on her way to office and back home on crowded buses or “difficult-to-find autorickshaws”.

“While returning from the office, I normally book myself a bike instead of an autorickshaw which are not so easily available on my route. It also saves me the trouble of haggling with auto drivers. Besides, ride sharing platforms like Ola, Uber and Rapido, give me the option to share my ride status and have SOS features which make me feel comparatively safer.”

Citing violations, the Delhi Transport Department has imposed diktats on the functioning of bike taxi services. App-based aggregators such as Ola, Uber and Rapido have been asked to stop plying bike taxis on the road without commercial permits. According to a notice recently issued by the department, any violation will result in penal action. Nishant Ranjan, 26, who takes an Ola moto every day to and from his office, says the Delhi Transport Department’s latest move will impact his monthly expenses to a great extent. He fears his daily travel cost would “go up from around ₹260 to at least ₹350”. Ranjan who commutes from Chittaranjan Park to Malcha Marg, Chanakyapuri, every day for work, is now struggling to figure out an alternative that will be both pocket-friendly and time-saving.

According to the Transport Department circular, the violation of Section 192 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, which does not permit commercial operation of two-wheelers, will attract a fine of up to ₹5,000 for the first offence and imprisonment and a fine up to ₹10,000 for subsequent offences.

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