The Delhi transport department has banned all bike taxis in the state with immediate effect. The move will impact companies like Rapido, Ola, and Uber in the national capital. The ban has come on the heels of the Maharashtra government denying permission to operate these mobility apps.
Carrying passengers on a hire or reward basis will be deemed as a violation of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. The violation would attract a Rs 1 lakh fine to aggregators with the first offense could lead to a fine of Rs 5,000. Second-time offenders will be slapped with a Rs 10,000 fine and imprisonment of up to a year, the department said in a public notice. Importantly, drivers will also lose their license for three months under the circumstances.
Delhi transport minister Kailash Gahlot said that the state government is in process of finalising a policy for aggregators, including those operating two-wheeler, three-wheeler, and four-wheeler taxis.
“Aggregator policy for 2W, 3W & 4W is in its final stage & will be rolled out soon helping them to apply for grant of license under the new scheme,” he said in a tweet.
It’s worth noting that the department hasn’t given any official communication to aggregators about the ban. It has intimated the general public through a circular.
Earlier this month, the Supreme Court had declined to grant relief to Rapido after the Maharashtra government imposed a ban on the use of non-transport vehicles for ride pooling and aggregation.
In the last couple of years, Rapido and other mobility firms have faced multiple regulatory challenges. In October 2022, the Karnataka government said auto services provided by Rapido, Uber, and Ola were illegal.
Moreover, these firms have also faced backlash from the drivers. Recently, more than 2,500 Ola and Uber drivers staged protests in Hyderabad over issues relating to fare and commissions on trips.
In Assam, thousands of cab drivers ‘boycotted’ Ola and Uber claiming poor treatment by these companies. Taxi unions, All Assam Cab Mazdoor Sangha and All Guwahati Bike and Taxi Union, alleged facing “harassment” as the cab and bike taxi aggregators had significantly increased their commissions on trips.
Update (10:46pm IST): This article has been updated with a statement issued by the Delhi transport minister.