Just a couple of days after Uber and Ola announced the launch of its bike taxi services in Bangalore, the Karnataka government’s transport department has termed the new service as illegal and has asked the citizens not to use them.
According to a statement from the department to the Economic Times, Uber and Ola has not yet obtained the required permit or license to operate app based bike taxi booking service.
The two-wheeler vehicles are considered as and falls under private vehicle category in Karnataka. In order to operate them as a taxi under UberMoto or Ola Bike, the vehicle needs to be registered as a commercial vehicle.
The transport department said that the service is illegal and thus, not entitled for any type of insurance cover. It further said that necessary actions will be taken against both companies.
The Regional Transport Authority has already seized bikes stating that they were being operated without permit. An official said that the rider was riding the vehicle without a badge and yellow board.
In a statement released by the department, a senior official said:
Legal action has been initiated. At any time we can take action as these services are illegal. We cannot allow the app-based cab aggregators to play with the commuters’ safety.
The bikes cannot ply as taxis as they have to procure the permit from the State transport authority. The bike taxis are illegal also because they don’t have the right licence. We will not allow them to operate.
They are riding like cab aggregators who do not work under the system and claim they are only a technology platform. They have to follow the rule of law and the regulations of the Transport department. Only then will they be permitted to operate as taxi
Earlier this week, Uber launched its bike taxi service named UberMoto, with a starting fare price of Rs. 3 per kilometer. On the same day, Ola also launched a similar service named Ola Bike, priced at Rs. 2 per kilometer.
It will be interesting to see what these companies decided, whether to fight against the authorities to keep the service running or to shut down the bike taxi service as the service was launched under a pilot project.