Bengaluru: Transport dept orders crackdown on unauthorised bike taxis

On several occasions, auto and cab drivers in Bengaluru have protested against bike taxis operating in the city.
Bengaluru: Transport dept orders crackdown on unauthorised bike taxis
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The Karnataka Transport Department on Thursday, July 4 issued an order directing regional transport offices (RTOs) to form special investigation teams to crack down on unauthorised bike taxis, including electric bike taxis. The crackdown against unauthorised bike taxis came after hundreds of auto-rickshaw drivers gathered outside the Transport Department's head office in Shanthinagar, demanding a ban on bike taxis, which they claim are taking away their business.

The Federation of Private Transport Operators Association, representing several auto-rickshaw, cab, and bus operators, met with the transport commissioner on July 4. Led by Nataraj Sharma, the association called for a ban on illegal bike taxis, implementation of one city-one fare system across the city, and issuance of permits to school cabs, among other demands.

"The Electric Bike Taxi Scheme 2021 has been withdrawn, and it has also been decided to clamp down on bike taxis. From July 5 onwards, special teams have been established in all 10 RTOs in Bengaluru to address unauthorised bike taxis, including electric ones, until further notice," the order from the Transport department said.

Despite this directive, there is a lack of clarity on the enforcement measures,  given that the High Court has already directed action against those hindering bike taxi services. In April 2024, the Karnataka High Court instructed the state government to safeguard bike taxi operators by implementing stringent actions against anyone unlawfully obstructing their operations. 

In a statement, Adi Narayana, President of the Bike Taxi Welfare Association, Karnataka, said, "We want to clarify that the order talks about EV bike taxis. Secondly, we want to clarify that bike taxi operations are protected by the orders of the High Court of Karnataka. All unions were made a party to the said case, and the High Court has clearly directed the State government to take action against any person who tries to harass or threaten Uber / Rapido/ any bike taxi drivers. We strongly urge that if any such incidents are reported against our bike taxi union members and bike taxi brothers, we will file contempt cases against such violating individuals in a personal capacity," he added.

On several occasions, auto and cab drivers in Bengaluru have protested against bike taxis operating in the city. They claim that bike taxis take away their customers and operate illegally. Bike taxi riders have also been attacked by auto and cab drivers in Bengaluru on several occasions with even the passenger sometimes facing the brunt of such attacks. 

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