Good news for Rapido, Ola, and Uber as bike taxis receive approval in Maharashtra: Report

Good news for Rapido, Ola, and Uber as bike taxis receive approval in Maharashtra: Report

Good news for Rapido, Ola, and Uber as bike taxis receive approval in Maharashtra: Report

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In a move likely to please ride aggregator platforms like Rapido, Ola, and Uber, the Maharashtra government has approved the operation of bike taxis in urban areas, including Mumbai and other cities, as reported on June 26.

Although the official notification is pending, the Hindustan Times reported that the Eknath Shinde-led Maharashtra government has permitted bike taxis to operate within a 10 km radius in Mumbai and a 5 km radius in other cities.

To operate, app-based aggregators must have a fleet of at least 50 two-wheelers and pay a registration fee of one lakh rupees. Aggregators with a fleet of more than 10,000 will be charged a fee of INR 5 lakh. The regulation also mandates that all bikes must be equipped with GPS, and the registration and basic training of two-wheeler pilots will be compulsory.

“This will be an app-based fleet service, convenient for passengers, and will help reduce traffic in cities,” said state transport commissioner Vivek Bhimankar. He added that a detailed government notification is expected soon. According to state vehicle registration data, Mumbai has 28 lakh two-wheelers, including 6 lakh scooters.

Previously, states like Goa, Telangana, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh had allowed bike taxis, while Maharashtra and Delhi had banned them. Now, Maharashtra will be the 13th state to approve bike taxis.

The Chief Minister decided to approve bike taxis after the state transport department emphasized the need to implement the 2022 central government policy on bike taxis. Two years ago, the central government cleared the use of bike taxis, leaving states responsible for rule-making and licensing. Following the approval, a state policy on bike taxis is expected to help regularize the sector and ensure passenger safety.

However, autorickshaw and taxi unions in Maharashtra oppose the move, citing safety concerns and lack of operational control. “Our resistance is not out of fear for our business, but due to these uncontrolled operations,” said Shashank Rao, president of the Autorickshaw Drivers-Owners Association Joint Action Committee, to HT.

An earlier advisory from the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways on January 22 stated that motorcycles fall within the definition of contract carriages under Section 2(7) of the Motor Vehicles (MV) Act, 1988, advising all states and UTs to accept and process applications for contract carriage permits for motorcycles.