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Karnataka state government has brought a fresh policy of e-bike taxi, in an effort to improve the first and last mile connectivity for the common man, amid burgeoning traffic concerns in urban centres.

The e-bike taxi will be allowed for trips of up to 10 kms only. Regular petrol bikes are still not considered as bike taxis.

The Karnataka government has announced two flat fares for the taxis, one for up to 5 kms and another for 5-10 kms.

The policy was launched today by Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa, wherein the government has said that any person above the age of 15 years can take the e-bike taxi to zip through traffic and reach their destination at a minimal cost.

“We appreciate the Karnataka government’s decision to let e2W register as a commercial bike taxi. This is a long-awaited step in the right direction and will help people utilize their well-earned assets to earn a livelihood. Owing to the successful pilot of EVs in Delhi, this latest development will further help us amping up our EV services, with the right EV partner, in Bangalore as well,” said online bike taxi aggregator Rapido’s Co-Founder Aravind Sanka.

“We are in talks with the state government to consider bikes as a taxi service and hope to see a similar development on this front as well. Rapido already has the infrastructure and demand from users that could be leveraged towards the cause. We are optimistic regarding bike taxi legality becoming a reality soon,” Sanka added.

As per the new policy, the e-bike taxis can be launched by any individual and they just need to procure license from the local road transport and also ensure that hired drivers are cross verified for their antecedents by the local police station. The license will be valid for a period of five years.

The security deposit for each bike, while obtaining a license, is 5,000 rupees and needs to be handed over to the local RTO. Individual licensees, however,  can be exempted from the deposit.

The authorities have also suggested that the -bike taxi rides need to be taken only on the shortest but direct route to the hirer’s destination.

The hirers cannot carry heavy luggage on the bikes and only limited baggage like a normal size backpack or handheld briefcases of reasonable weight will be allowed.

The hirer and the driver both need to wear a helmet with the color of it being yellow and additionally the driver needs to wear a reflective jacket.

The e-bikes will have a color as specified by the transport commissioner and have the words ‘Bike-Taxi” painted on both sides of the vehicle, with white plates on the back and front having the same wordings.

The name and phone number of the driver should be affixed on the bike and also needs to be fitted with GPS if the bike company has more than 50 bike taxis. The links and feeds of these vehicles’ GPS will be then shared with the law enforcement and administrative authorities whenever required.

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