Rapido’s bike taxi service hits a roadblock in Pune
Auto unions had called a strike twice in a month against Rapido and other illegal bike taxi services running in the city
The Pune Regional Transport Authority (RTA) and Pune Regional Transport Office (RTO) have rejected the plea of Roppen Transportation Services Private Limited (Rapido) seeking licence for bike taxi services for two-wheeler and three-wheeler in the city.
Earlier this month, the Bombay High Court had asked RTO to reconsider a fresh application by Rapido for continuing bike taxi aggregator in Pune by legalising the license for running the bike taxi service.
For the last several months the issue continued, while the auto unions had called a strike twice in a month against Rapido and other illegal bike taxi services running in Pune.
According to Pune RTO order, Rapido company applied with the Pune RTO on March 16, 2022, for an aggregator licence for two-wheeler and three-wheeler services in Pune. But due to incomplete documents, the application was rejected on April 1, 2022.
After the Bombay HC instructions on November 29 to RTO to reconsider the company’s application, Rapido once again submitted its application on November 30.
“There are no norms by the Maharashtra state government or state transport department in regards to the bike taxi services. It has never issued any kind of permit or licence to run bike taxi services, and also there is no fare structure made as per any policy to run this service in the state. So it has been decided to reject the licence application. Similarly, due to lack of documents provided by the company the licence for three-wheeler service has been rejected,” said Ajit Shinde, Pune regional transport officer.
Shinde said, residents should not give their vehicles to Rapido online platform conducting business and also desist from using Rapido mobile application.
“People should only use vehicles with legal licences and permits for the public transport purpose,” he said.
Rapido in its statement said, the company is exploring all options to challenge the order by Pune RTO.
“We are in receipt of the order by the Pune RTO and are currently exploring all options, including legal, to contest this arbitrary order. Our actions are guided by the vision of providing millions of Pune commuters a convenient, efficient and cost-effective method of getting around, and importantly, the livelihoods of 57,000 Rapido captains and their families. If any coercive action is taken against us on the ground, it would amount to an overreach on the part of the Pune RTO and interference with a protective order in force granted by the Supreme Court,” the bike taxi aggregator stated in a statement.