Maharashtra State Transport Commissioner Avinash Dhakne has made it clear that the state has not given approval to Rapido to start bike taxi services in the city, The Indian Express reported.
The company, however, announced the launch of its service on Friday. It even said the bike taxis can be hired for Rs 6 per km, and rides can be booked through an app, similar to the taxi services such as Ola and Uber.
“The company approached me 15 days ago, seeking permission to start operations on a pilot basis in Andheri. I said I cannot grant permission and asked them to submit a proposal, which will be evaluated by the State Transport Authority, the statutory body to do so,” Dhakne told the publication.
Dhakne said that the transport department was not planning to approve any bike taxi services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Any proposal for a bike-taxi service in Mumbai needs to be evaluated. There is the question of whether so many additional two-wheelers on the road will reduce traffic congestion or add to it. Also, it is not feasible at the moment as many commuters may not want to ride with strangers,” Dhakne said.
Auto unions are unhappy with Rapido's launch, arguing that their livelihood will be affected, according to a Mid-Day report.
The report said that the Seva Sarathi Autorickshaw Taxi and Transport Union on November 1 wrote letters to the Chief Minister’s Office, the Maharashtra transport secretary’s and the commissioner’s offices, and the city police to restrain Rapido's operations.