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Bike taxi

Setback for Uber, Rapido and Ola bike taxis as SC revives ban in Delhi

Bike taxi

The Supreme Court has revived the ban on bike taxi apps, including Uber, Rapido and Ola, in the country’s capital: Delhi. The Supreme Court order is against the Delhi High Court order, which lifted the ban last month and asked the transport department not to take any coercive actions against bike taxi apps until the final policy comes into place.

Following the HC court order on May 26, the Aam Aadmi Party-led Delhi government challenged it in the Supreme Court. A vacation bench of justices Aniruddha Bose and Rajesh Bindal heard the two separate pleas of the state government.

According to the Delhi government, two-wheelers operating as cabs was a violation of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 and the Delhi Motor Vehicle Comprehensive Plan 2023. Tussle between bike-taxi platforms and state governments on the basis of Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 is not new. During 2015-16, Haryana and Karnataka were the first two states to ban them on the basis of the aforementioned act. However, Haryana was the first state to formulate a comprehensive policy for bike taxis.

Earlier this year, the transport department barred all bike taxi aggregators in Delhi with immediate effect till the introduction of policies. In a public notice issued in February, the AAP govt cautioned bike-taxis against plying in Delhi and warned that violations would make them liable for a fine of up to Rs 1 lakh.

Transport departments of several state governments including Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka have been impounding bike taxi aggregators in the absence of policy and lack of understanding of tech-enabled business models.

While these bike taxi operators will resume service when final policy comes into place, the livelihoods of thousands of gig workers who leverage Rapido, Ola Bikes and UberMoto will be impacted. Moreover, lakhs of commuters in the Delhi (NCR) region also face challenges in last-mile commutes.

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