Over 80 bike taxis on the Uber platform have been seized after the company hasn’t complied with Karnataka government’s orders which declared them to be illegal. Uber continues to operates its bike taxis in the city, while Ola, Ridingo and Hey Bob have stopped services.
Uber and Ola had launched their bike services in Bangalore within hours of each other on 3rd March. The service had proved popular, with many Bangaloreans using it to get around the city. But within 2 days of its launch, the Bangalore government had declared the taxis illegal and urged commuters not to use them. While Ola seems to have complied with the request (the bike taxi option is no longer visible in Bangalore on its app), Uber seems to be still continuing the service.
“We have seized close to 80 vehicles, all of which are from Uber,” said Karnataka transport commissioner Ramegowda. “These bike taxis are operating on white board. We’ve asked these aggregators to approach the Road Transport Authority (RTA) and procure the right permissions to operate.”
India’s Motor Vehicle Act doesn’t currently have a provision for two wheelers to be used as taxis. The Karnataka government has said that it could look at allowing two wheelers as taxis on a case-by-case basis as long as such service providers apply for permits. The government is also warned people against using these taxis because being illegal, they will not be covered by insurance in case they meet with accidents.
Uber has a history of being at loggerheads with governments across the world as it tries to get them to accept its innovative forms of transport.