The proposal for motorcycle taxis in Maharashtra on the lines of those in Goa has been shown the red flag by transport minister Diwakar Raote.
A day after Hindustan Times reported how the state transport commissioner’s office had drafted rules for the proposed taxis to beat serpentine jams and reduce travel time, Raote shot down the proposal citing safety of such taxis. Raote said he had scrapped the proposal. “The department sent me a proposal, but I have rejected it. Such taxis are extremely unsafe and should not be allowed,” he said.
A source in the minister’s office said Raote felt it would be difficult to regulate such a service, especially when it came to ensuring disciplined riders.
According to the proposal, the taxis would involve passengers sitting pillion and it would have been mandatory for the bikes to be equipped with sari-guards, brakes, side-lights among other things to ensure the safety of both rider as well as passenger. The department had also proposed to have such taxis in black-and-yellow, in line with the city’s auto rickshaws and cabs and give them legal status by amending the Motor Vehicles Act, 1989.
However, Raote said these measures wouldn’t be enough to guarantee safety and said no company would be allowed to operate such taxis in the state.
The issue came to the forefront when ‘Hey Taxi!’ an app-based motorbike taxi service was launched by two city entrepreneurs. While Raote reacted swiftly and sent a notice to the firm, stating that current norms did not allow such a service, his order shuts the door on any such service in the future.