You can soon zip through the scenic state capital of Mizoram on a two-wheeler taxi following the state government sanctioning an appeal for the service.
Mizoram follows in Goa’s footsteps, and is the first hill state to launch the service.
Coming three months after the Karnataka government forced Uber and Ola’s passenger-carrying motorcycles off the roads in Bengaluru, the move is aimed at tackling the traffic snarls that clog Aizawl’s serpentine narrow roads while also boosting employment amongst its youth.
To begin with, 200-250 motorcycles will operate on the roads from July. Passengers will be charged Rs 10 for the first kilometer and Rs 5 for every subsequent kilometer, as per the government fare structure.
Mizoram transport minister John Rotluangliana said the government acted on a long-standing appeal from the All Mizoram Educated Unemployed Association and relaxed its rules to let two-wheelers to be used as taxis.
“The traffic congestion in Aizawl often makes people late for work and affects the routine of doctors and nurses who have two-three hospitals to report to. We hope the bike taxis will take care of this problem as well as that of unemployment,” Rotluangliana told Hindustan Times.
While issuing forms for permit with a June-end submission deadline, the transport department has mandated that each two-wheeler must be two-years-old at most, have a 150cc engine at least and have black-on-yellow registration plates like other commercial vehicles.
“Permit will be given for five years, renewable based on the fitness of the two-wheeler. Also the rider must wear ISI-marked yellow helmets and obtain a professional driving license,” a transport department officer said.
Taxi service providers Uber and Ola had in March launched two-wheeler taxi service in Bengaluru. But they had to pull out after authorities seized the vehicles for violating rules; the Motor Vehicle Act doesn’t allow two-wheelers to be used as taxis. It has been opened up only in the state of Haryana and Goa. The Karnataka government, however, is looking at amending the rules to accommodate the service much like the Haryana government did in Gurgaon.