The regional transport authority (RTA) has given clearance for bike taxis in four UP districts — Ghaziabad, Gautam Budh Nagar, Hapur and Bulandshahr — that fall under the Ghaziabad transport region.
The state transport department in November had given its approval for bike taxis as a secure, cheaper and less time-consuming mode of transport. Officials said that this will also boost last-mile connectivity options.
Officials said that the operators can apply for permits and registration of bike taxis, subject to fulfilment of 17 conditions.
“The RTA has finally given the green signal for plying bike taxis. Last year, the RTA had asked us to obtain terms and conditions from the state administration. It was sent to our headquarters and conditions defined recently. When we moved the terms and conditions, the RTA finally approved it,” Mayank Jyoti, regional transport officer, Ghaziabad region, said.
Bike taxi is an established model in countries like Vietnam, Thailand and even in Indian cities of Goa and neighbouring Gurgaon.
At present, Gurgaon has more than 300 bikes under the scheme that are operated by RapidO, Baxi, MTaxi, Ola and Uber. According to Ghaziabad officials, three-four operators have applied for procuring permits in Ghaziabad region.
Officials said that the tariffs are fixed at ₹8.60 for the first kilometre and ₹8.10 for every subsequent kilometre. They said that the rates are as per the 2010 notification, defined for ‘motorcab,’ either for four-wheelers or two-wheelers, by the government.
“The colour of bikes will be blue with red stripes over the vehicle body for unique identification. Bike hired from any of the four districts can ply within these districts. The applications and permits for the operators will be issued from Ghaziabad regional office and registration will be done at the respective districts,” Jyoti said.
As per official estimates, Ghaziabad has a presence of nearly 8 lakh registered vehicles including more than 5.7 lakh two-wheelers. Besides, the city also has a fleet of more than 16,000 autorickshaws.
“Bike taxis will face stiff competition from autos as they are the most commonly used means of transport. Further, the congested traffic and high tariffs will also be a challenge. Despite making different transport options available for commuters, the agencies have failed to bring in a uniform city transport and decongest roads,” Akash Vashistha of Raj Nagar said.