Telangana: ‘Ban usage of private vehicles as bike taxis for Rapido, Ola, Uber’

Telangana Gig And Platform Workers Union and Taxi and Drivers Joint Action Committee also urged that the state government instruct Rapido, Ola and Uber to bear the cost of the penalties levied on the bike taxi owners.

Hyderabad: The Telangana Gig And Platform Workers Union (TGPWU) and Telangana State Taxi and Drivers Joint Action Committee (TSTDJAC) have urged the state government to terminate the use of private motorbikes being operated as bike taxis.

TGPWU, state president, and chairman (TSTDJAC) Shaikh Salahuddin in a letter to Telangana transport minister, Puvvada Ajay Kumar on Friday stressed the increasing business of Rapido and its severe impact on the auto-rickshaw and cab drivers.

Local auto rickshaws and cab drivers, bear heavy losses due to the decreasing ride demands they receive owing to lower charges for the bike taxi services.

The driver’s JAC claimed that these privately owned bike taxis are freed from paying road permits, taxes and licence fees, which is mandatory for operating a commercial vehicle.

They stated that bike taxi services run by Rapido, Ola and Uber, in several parts of India, are operating an illegal business as private licensed vehicles are not allowed to be used as taxis.

These ride-hailing applications allow motorbike owners to operate their vehicles as taxis which is contrary on account of the MV Act (Rule 50, 51 of MV Act, 1989), which specifies that taxi cabs’ registration mark shall be a yellow background with black text.

The RTOs (Regional Transport Office) in Karnataka, Chennai, and Maharashtra seized around 120 bikes in the last week of January and charged a fine of Rs 10,000 to 15,000 on each seized vehicle owner operating as Ola Moto, Uber Moto and Rapido.

Similarly, the Pune RTO team impounded 65 motorcycles providing taxi services in Pune in the first week of February 2022.

They remarked that RTOs have been arresting and charging bike taxi drivers rather than taking any legal action against the company under whom they operate.

Their demands:

The workers’ union demanded a ban on the operations of private motorbikes operating as bike taxis in Telangana.

“There should also be an immediate CAP (a unique 20-character alpha-numeric code structure detailing vehicle characteristics) implemented by the state government on attaching new vehicles for bike taxis and delivery in Telangana,” they urged.

Rapido, Ola and Uber bike taxi operations should follow the Motor Vehicles Act.

Registration for commercial plying of bike taxis on city roads should be started by these providers immediately, for all its attached vehicles.

They also urged that the state government should instruct Rapido, Ola and Uber to bear the cost of the penalties levied on the bike taxi owners in Telangana.

“With Telangana witnessing heavy traffic congestion, bike taxis can provide convenient and affordable transport options which must be actively encouraged through regulations to provide safety to customers at an affordable cost,”

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