Taxi drivers stand up against bicycle taxis

By Melvin Mathew

The drivers claim Quick services are stopped through Karnataka

The city’s taxi drivers’ association has called for a ban on the bicycle taxi service, Rapido, in the state, opposing the use of whiteboard two-wheelers for commercial purposes.

Taxi drivers say that while they must operate under a host of restrictions and mandates, Rapido drivers only need to own a mobile phone and have the app installed. Taxi drivers are mandated to operate with the yellow sign, pay taxes annually, and use the same vehicle registered in the app. Opposition has now surfaced with many drivers struggling to find riders during the pandemic.

“In order for us to secure our driver badge, we must have a DL whiteboard for a year and have passed SSLC and PUC. Also, if we don’t have a display card, we are fined . Yet we are struggling to find passengers,” said a taxi driver. Another taxi driver noted that he is also mandated to drive the same vehicle registered with the rental service, but there is no is no such rule for Rapido passengers.

president of Bharata Transport Association Group, Jayanna “Besides driving around the city illegally using a whiteboard, there is no safety for passengers and they don’t have insurance in case of an accident. They also don’t give taxes to the government and yet they have contributed to huge losses for taxi drivers across the state. We demand that Rapido services be stopped statewide.

“The taxi drivers are terribly helpless. On-duty drivers must first and foremost pay EMIs, regardless of income. The finance companies they got the loan from are seizing the cars without notice or due process. In addition, the drivers had to deal with a weekend curfew which made our job very difficult. We will soon be filing a lawsuit against Rapido to cease its operations in Karnataka,” Jayanna added.

“Bike Taxi service, Rapido has no license and they are operating illegally under the taxi aggregation app. We have seized bicycles which violate traffic rules. Supreme Court, and until the next hearing, we cannot take any enforcement action,” said Narendra Holkar, additional commissioner of transport (application).

Rapido Bike Taxi Drivers Don’t Pay Taxes To The Government Yet They Have Contributed To Huge Losses For Taxi Drivers Across The State

– Jayanna, Bharatha Transport Association Group

Motorists also acquiesced to the drivers’ association regarding the banning of Rapido services. “We don’t earn enough to pay for IMEs or house rents. The situation has been deplorable for 3 years. We are unable to cruise at night due to restrictions. If services like Rapido are allowed to operate, it is an injustice for us,” said Sampath, Secretary General of Adarsha Auto Union.

Rapido co-founder Aravind Sanka said that getting regulators to work and convince them of the operation and benefits of bike taxis is an ongoing process. “We are also in contact with the relevant department to seek their assistance in understanding the legal framework, and we hope to have a response soon so that we can continue to adhere to it.

In addition, the company has received assurances from the High Court that no enforcement action will be used against it until a policy is in place.

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