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Opinion: “Bengaluru needs bike taxis for better connectivity, fewer traffic jams”

Opinion: “Bengaluru needs bike taxis for better connectivity, fewer traffic jams” 2020-10-07Leave a comment
electrical bike Opinion: “Bengaluru wants bike taxis for higher connectivity, fewer site visitors jams”
A lady driving pillion on Ola’s bike taxi in Gurugram. Representational picture: OLa Mobility Institute Report (2020)

Bengaluru has greater than 50 lakh two-wheelers on its roads. Let that quantity sink in. These two-wheelers make up ~70% of all motorised autos within the metropolis. 


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This staggering variety of two-wheelers is commonly attributed to Bengaluru’s insufficient and inaccessible public transportation system, whose modal share stands at a meagre 48% compared to 80% for Mumbai

In a 2019 survey performed by Bangalore Political Motion Committee (B.PAC), 24% of respondents who don’t use public transport cited lack of first-mile and last-mile (FM-LM) connectivity as the foremost hindrance. Given the necessity for higher connectivity to public transportation and the ubiquity of two-wheelers, town ought to discover the choice of two-wheelers as a method of offering micro-mobility and FM-LM options to residents. 

Bike taxis, just like autos or four-wheeler taxis, are a kind of shared mobility wherein the operator (bike rider) carries a single passenger as a pillion rider from level A to level B for a set fare. It’s a in style mode of transport in international locations like Brazil, China, Indonesia, Mexico, Thailand and Vietnam, and has been legalised in 14 states/UTs in India.  

If built-in properly with public transport, bike taxis might increase adoption of public transport like BMTC, BMRCL and suburban railway, and scale back Bengaluru’s dependency on personal autos. Studiespresent that shared autos have 2x increased utilisation, which may result in fewer autos on the highway.

Giving desire to shared mobility over personal possession of autos and enhancing FM-LM connectivity to public transport can collectively decongest town’s roads of its enormous inhabitants of privately-owned bikes. 

Bike taxis are sooner and cheaper

Bike taxis present accessible, low-cost, quick and versatile mode of transportation. In a latest survey performed by The Power and Sources Institute (TERI) in Gurugram and Noida, bike taxis had been discovered to be on a median 40% sooner than different modes like autos, shared cabs or personal automobiles, and price an affordable Rs 39 for six.5 km (that’s, Rs 6/km). 

Areas that can’t be simply accessed because of slender lanes and lack of satisfactory maneuvering house might be well-serviced by bike taxis. They arrive with financial and environmental advantages too. In keeping with a 2020 study by Ola Mobility Institute, bike taxis have the potential to unlock over two million livelihood alternatives and create a nationwide income of USD 4.5 billion. 

Additionally, since ride-sharing results in higher utilisation of autos already on the highway, regulated operations of motorcycle taxis can scale back the impression on the surroundings. Vehicular exhaust is an enormous polluter and PM10 air pollution is estimated to extend by 74% by 2030 primarily due to car exhaust, development mud and on-road mud, as per a study by Urbanemissions.info and Centre for Research of Science, Expertise and Coverage (CSTEP). Encouraging commuters to make use of public transport may also help in reducing down a big portion of those emissions. 

Many States have already legalised bike taxis

The Ministry of Street Transport and Highways in 2016 really helpful that States enable two-wheeler taxis to function on comparable traces as metropolis taxis. Later in 2018, the NITI Aayog in its report on shared mobility harassed the significance of bike-sharing for final mile connectivity and as an inexpensive transit mode. Subsequently, 14 States/UTs together with Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Haryana, West Bengal, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh have taken a progressive stand and legalised bike taxi providers.  

Internationally too, bike taxis are vastly popular in lots of Southeast Asian international locations like Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. Go-JEK, a motorcycle taxi enterprise, is Indonesia’s first unicorn which now gives livelihood alternatives to at least one million folks. Elsewhere, Brazil, Columbia and Nigeria too boast of a big bike taxi market.

The way in which forward for Bengaluru

Nearer residence, the Karnataka authorities proposed the Electrical Bike Taxi Undertaking in its March 2020 price range session to enhance FM-LM connectivity to public transport. Whereas this can be a welcome transfer, it’s unlikely to have a major impression within the quick time period except it’s supported by concrete coverage motion encouraging using electrical two-wheelers as bike taxis. 

A number of the issues round bike taxis embrace the attainable impression on the revenues of BMTC and Metro particularly for short-distance commute, road-rash related to bikes, and issues of safety particularly for ladies and little one commuters. 

Route rationalisation to make sure the bikes act as feeders to public transit to enhance public transport and never compete with them, a technology-based pace limiter on the bike, regulated variety of permits, GPS monitoring, riders throughout genders, and highway security options can go a good distance in mitigating these issues.

To be able to concurrently push the sustainability agenda with mobility and supply aggregators, the federal government ought to specify a sure share of the full fleet to be EV. This must be progressively elevated to 100% EV fleet in 5 years.

To handle its issues, the Karnataka authorities also needs to arrange a framework for a regulatory sandbox that enables time-bound testing of those new mobility providers beneath a regulator’s oversight. 

A regulatory sandbox is a framework arrange by a regulator that enables startups and different innovators to conduct stay experiments in a managed surroundings beneath a regulator’s supervision.

Supply: CGAP

Bike taxis can run pilots in particular geographies for a selected time interval, and these pilots might be assessed on their efficacy in offering FM-LM to public transport and in decreasing congestion. The federal government ought to then body applicable laws primarily based on the learnings from the pilot.

The Karnataka authorities ought to use the current circumstances to unlock the potential of motorcycle taxis to get Bengaluru transferring sustainably with the overarching objective of enhancing connectivity to public transportation.

[The authors are Mobility Champions for the #BengaluruMoving campaign with Young Leaders for Active Citizenship (YLAC), and Bangalore Political Action Committee (B.PAC)]

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