Bike Taxi in India – Is it a Boon or Bane?
It has been almost a decade since cab booking giants like ola and uber came to India. The accessibility to transportation and the ease of use became the major reasons for their success. However, present-day India is a completely different place. Accessibility is no longer a source of worry, but worry lies in the number of private vehicles that swarm the Indian roads. The resulting congestion, pollution and traffic jams are injecting a plethora of problems in our everyday lives.
We have all witnessed the painfully slow-moving traffic in urban India. Most of us are so used to it that we leave our house hours before a meeting, which is scheduled to take place just 10 kilometers away. Public transportation like metros and buses are unable to meet the ever increasing demands of the public.
The only feasible solution that serves as a light at the end of this tunnel is Ride-sharing.
A recent study on Rethinking Urban Mobility in Indonesia, demonstrated that if all personal travel shifted to shared modes, including public transport and ridesharing, more than 71 million car trips could be saved from Indonesian roads by 2020.
Bike-Taxi in India helps solves the last mile issues of urban mobility
Advantages of a bike taxi:
- Bike taxis help to solve the last mile connectivity problem.
- Fares are very cheap.
- Faster means of transport.
- Are available on demand.
- Bike taxis create large scale employment opportunities which is much needed in our country.
- It is a suitable transportation option to achieve Narendra Modi’s vision for the future of mobility in India which is based on 7 Cs: common, connected, convenient, congestion-free, charged, clean and cutting-edge.
It is reported that 70% of the vehicles on the Indian roads are two-wheelers. So what’s hindering the growth of bike-taxis in India? Let’s take a look at the cons.
Disadvantages of Bike-taxis:
- Safety Issue: mindset of the Indian population, such as “sitting behind a stranger” is one of the main reasons why bike taxis are not desired.
- The Indian government is yet to completely embrace the idea.
- It is not as comfortable as a cab.
- Not a suitable option on days with bad weather conditions.
- Cannot be used to travel long distances.
Despite many hurdles, there are several successful Bike taxis functioning in India.
Some of the popular ones are:
1. Rapido: It began operations in Bengaluru towards the end of 2015. It is now present in 17 cities and has about 15,000 drivers. It does about a million rides per month.
2. Baxi: Initially a bike taxi app has now ventured into a hybrid model. It has tied up with Mother dairy for milk deliveries. Baxi has also converted its app to a meter that riders can use for roadside pickups.
3. Uber and Ola have also launched a Bike-taxi feature of their own called uberMoto and olaBike respectively.
PykUpz Bike Taxi thinks about drivers in addition to the passengers
Apart from the big players mentioned above, there is a start-up that provides an innovative perspective on this concept. PykUpz, originally a peer-to-peer ride-sharing app also has a bike taxi feature that provides privileges, not only to the passengers but to the drivers as well.
While many apps focus on customer satisfaction, driver satisfaction is often overlooked. PykUpz is the only app that favors both the passengers as well as drivers.
Passengers are provided with rides at reasonable fares which are much cheaper than cab fares. The rides are available on demand. PykUpz also ensures safety by thoroughly verifying the drivers.
Drivers, on the other hand, are provided with the flexibility to set their own working hours. A driver can work whenever he wants and however long he wants. He has the complete power to set his own working hours. This privilege is necessary for part-time drivers. Moreover, PykUpz does not charge commission in any type or form, whatever the driver earns is completely his. The Drivers are also informed of the passenger’s location well in advance so they don’t have to go out of their routes.
An Innovative and a pioneering idea like Bike taxis is a progressive step towards the future of mobility. Although they are proven to be extremely helpful tools for daily commutes, they are not yet completely accepted in many Indian states. Rather than eliminating the practice, city planners should embrace the flexibility bike taxis provide for commuters and the employment opportunities they create.