Terming bike-taxi services as illegal, the Karnataka transport department officials have impounded around 200 bikes, belonging to Ola and Rapido, operating as taxis in Bengaluru.
The owners of bikes have been booked as part of a crackdown against the operation of illegal bike taxis. They have been reportedly imposed fine of Rs 2K for using bikes with white number plates on them for commercial purposes.
“Several mobile app based aggregators, like Ola and Rapido, are illegally operating the bike taxi business. Bike owners are held responsible for using private bikes for commercial purposes,” Additional Transport Commissioner C.P. Narayana Swamy was quoted as saying to The Hindu report.
Transport Department has already issued notices to cap-hailing firm Ola and Rapido asking them to stop its bike-taxi services immediately.
Cab-hailing firms have been asked to explain why the services were introduced without bringing it to the transport department notice. The officials have been asked to seize bike-taxi and penalise them if found on the road.
According to Transport commissioner VP Ikkeri, the state is still working on policy and have asked for stakeholders view on the introduction on bike-taxi services. Until the complete policy is made, offering such services are illegal.
Ola had piloted bike-taxi service last week in Bengaluru whereas Rapido has been in operation for many days.
This is not the first time the Karnataka transport department has halted the bike taxis services. In March 2016, Uber and Ola both had to suspend its bike-taxi pilot after state government objected.
Nine months later, the government had issued draft guidelines asking state governments to draft their own transport regulations. States including Rajasthan, Goa, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, and Haryana have allowed bike-taxi operation.
Meanwhile, bike-taxi services have also faced opposition from cab and auto driver unions, who are now complaining of being threatened by services as they witness downfall in their earning.
Ola and Rapido have not yet reacted to the incident.