Transport authorities draft plan to introduce motorcycle cabs in Maharashtra
The state transport commissioner’s office plans to introduce motorcycle taxis in Maharashtra. The draft rules for such a scheme have been sent to the state government for consideration, following a decision in the state transport authority (STA) meeting in May to work on such a proposal.mumbai Updated: Jun 16, 2015 23:19 IST
Mumbai may soon be able to hire a motorcycle cab to zoom past frustrating traffic jams.
The state transport commissioner’s office plans to introduce motorcycle taxis in Maharashtra. The draft rules for such a scheme have been sent to the state government for consideration, following a decision in the state transport authority (STA) meeting in May to work on such a proposal.
If the proposal is cleared, Maharashtra will be the second state after Goa to introduce such cabs.
Sources in the transport department said the proposed motorcycle taxi service will be similar to the black-and-yellow ‘pilot taxis’ in Goa. Several countries like Brazil, Indonesia, Vietnam and China have such taxis as a popular mode of public transport. Much like in Goa, passengers will have to ride pillion. But unlike Goa, motorcycle cabs in the city will have fare meters.
“The state government wanted to introduce black-and-yellow bikes like taxis and autorickshaws. These bikes will have a fare meter too,” said a transport department official, who spoke on condition of anonymity and added the transport commissioner’s office has prepared rules keeping all the safety aspects in mind.
Another senior official, requesting anonymity, said that much like the bikes used to deliver pizzas, these motorcycle cabs will be registered under the transport category. Bikes with an engine capacity between 100 and 350 cc can be registered as motorcycle taxis. This way, citizens will get a choice to choose from a normal city bike to a powerful bullet, officials said.
According to sources, like taxis and autos, permits will be issued for motorcycle cabs. The bike riders will have to sport badges issued by the RTO office like the one given to cabbies and auto drivers, besides a permanent two-wheeler licence. “Taking the safety of passengers into consideration, riders will have to provide helmets to those riding pillion,’’ the official said. Other safety measures such as the provision of a sari-guard, crash-guard on the front, a proper break and side lights have also been mentioned in the proposal.
It is learnt that the brainstorming for the motorcycle cabs was initiated in the last STA meeting on May 11 and the secretary of STA was asked to prepare such a proposal after checking all the legal aspects, similar to the Rent a Motorcycle scheme. Sources in Mantralaya said that in reponse to the proposal, the government had sought some clarification from the commissioner’s office about issues such as the tax structure for the vehicles.
The state transport department is, however, tightlipped about the proposal with transport secretary Gautam Chatterjee saying the “introduction of such a service does not fit in the existing rules.’’
Sources in the department said they are not in favour of publicising any such proposal at the moment given the transport minister’s action on the Hey Taxi service, an app-based motorcycle taxi service, and the strike by taxi and auto unions against the loss of work because of taxi aggregators like Ola and Uber, among others.