Bengaluru: When a few cab aggregators launched bike taxis in the city a year ago, it was expected to revolutionise the transport system by bringing down the travel time and slashing fares. But the service was stopped immediately after by the transport department as the rules were not in place to allow two-wheelers for commercial use.
Now, a year later, the transport department has modified the rules to allow bike taxis to run in the city.
But ironically, cab aggregators are not too enthused to start the service because of lack of margins.
The central government’s recent notification allowing cab aggregators to demand surcharge up to four times the minimum fare and exclude all luxury cabs from the minimum fare rule too has contributed to their lack of interest, industry experts said. “Surcharge is not allowed for bike taxis. High insurance and tax premium make bike taxis expensive. Also, compared to cabs, the revenue per kilometre is very low” said an officer. “Bike taxis would have revolutionised the city traffic as Bengaluru is known for its gridlocks. They would have also brought down the travel time by half. But against our expectation, no cab aggregator is likely to launch these service in the city,” he said. Many Transport Department insiders felt that if the Centre had not allowed surcharge, cab aggregators would have relaunched the service at all major metros.
“But now bike taxis are running only in few select cities. Generally, Bengaluru is the primary market for all the aggregators. But surprisingly, the city has been ignored,” a trade analyst said....