Uber and Ola recently launched their bike taxi services in Bangalore, India. However, just a couple of days after launch, the transport department termed it illegal and asked people not to use their service.
However, even after the warning from authorities, Uber continued to operate its latest service (a practice Uber employed during its Delhi ban as well), and thus, the transport department officials has started taking actions against and seized 62 two-wheeler bike taxis.
The vehicles were seized on charges of operating as bike taxis in Bengaluru without permit. As per the reports, the officials carried out checking of Uber’s bikes in several areas of Bangalore, including Rajajinagar, Indiranagar, Jayanagar and Yeshwanthpur areas, and found that bikes are being used as transport vehicles illegally.
Rame Gowda,Transport Commissioner, said,
We discovered that the Uber app for bike taxis was still in operation, and the company facilitated operation of bikes as taxis on a pilot basis. We did not find any bike taxis under the Ola brand. We will produce all these bikes before the court for further action.
The report also suggests that the officials have not only seized the vehicles, but also the app-running device which are being used by the drivers to accept the rides, fund routes and know the amount to charge customer.
The transport department said that their officials had advised aggregators to first acquire required permissions from the officials to continue operating bike taxi service, but they ignored the advise and continued operating.
According to officials, both taxi aggregators – Ola and Uber, has not obtained the required permit or license to operate their app based bike taxi booking service. In Karnataka, the two-wheeler vehicles falls under private vehicle category.
In order to operate them as a taxi under UberMoto or Ola Bike, the vehicle needs to be registered as a commercial vehicle. If it is not registered as commercial vehicle, it is not entitled for any type of insurance cover.
Last week, Uber launched its bike taxi service named UberMoto, with a starting fare price of Rs. 3 per kilometer. A couple of hours later, Ola also launched a similar service named Ola Bike, priced at Rs. 2 per kilometer.
While launching the service in Bangalore, Uber said that it is a pilot project and if it gets expected results, it may expand it to other cities in India.