Bangalore, known as garden city of India, is chosen by India’s popular mobile app-based taxi operators Uber and Ola to launch their Bike-Taxi service on pilot basis.
Interestingly, within a day of launch, the Karnataka government has said the Bike-Taxi service is not approved by the government as Uber and Ola have not received proper license from the government to operate this kind of service.
However Uber and Ola are yet come out with a clear picture on the announcement made by the state government.
Meanwhile Automotive India News tried to find out the potential of Bangalore city for such Bike-Taxi services.
When there are many other traffic-tight cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai have potential to try Bike-Taxi concept, whey Uber and Ola have chosen Bangalore for their Bike-Taxi concept is a big question among the taxi aggregators and other industry stake holders.
The first story reported by Automotive India News on Ola’s foray into Bike Taxi segment in India has attracted interest from many industry stakeholders to know about the importance of Bangalore interms of taxi service.
The general public and auto experts with whom Automotive India News interacted have listed out following three reasons as main objectives for Bike-Taxi concept being tried in Bangalore by Ola of ANI Technologies and San Francisco-based Uber Technologies Inc.
The first reason is that the Bike-Taxi user, mostly having white colour jobs, wants to commute to their destinations ontime sailing in the bumper-to-bumper traffic during peak hours in India’s IT capitol, Bangalore.
Till 2000, Bangalore remained as a calm city without much traffic with a tag of ‘Garden City’ filled with clean air. Situation changed once the city witnessed Information Technology boom post 2000, almost trebling the population to the current level of one crore people living in Bangalore city area covering around 741 square kilometers.
This led to vehicle population too increasing to massive levels in the past 15 years, positioning itself next only to Delhi in number of vehicles plying on roads.
As on March 31, 2015, there are around 55.59 lakh vehicles in Bangalore as against the 88.27 lakh vehicles in New Delhi. It may be noted that Chennai and Mumbai, which are much larger than Bangalore in areas and population, has only 44 lakh and 25 lakh vehicles respectively.
Endorsing the traffic menace in Bangalore, Ola’s COO Pranay Jivrajka said, “We are excited to launch the pilot of Bike Taxis in Bangalore as it will help customers to get to where they want within minutes, especially in traffic prone cities like Bangalore.
The second main reason for Ola and Uber driving in their Bike-Taxi into Bangalore is that the mode of private transport through Taxi and Autorickshaw is costlier than that in Delhi and Mumbai.
Thirdly the public transport is not well connected in the city as the the users are forced to change multiple buses even for small distances inside the city.
Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) is the state-run public transport operator in Bangalore. Although BMTC has a fleet size of 6,500 buses including sophisticated 700 premium Volvo buses, its route connectivity is not upto the expectations of the public.
According to Uber India Head Amit Jain, uberMOTO is another step to reduce traffic congestion in Bangalore by getting people out of cars when they don’t require to use them by encouraging motorbike drivers to share their ride.
By using today’s transportation infrastructure more efficiently, he said Uber’s technology can support the Karnataka government to cut traffic congestion at no extra cost to taxpayers.
Recently Uber has launched its Bike-Taxi service in Bangkok, Thailand’s capital city where already the Bike-Taxi concept is quite popular. Now the same service has been introduced in Bangalore and it shows the Bike Taxi may become popular mode of transport of in the Indian cities too in the near future.
Currently Ola, which gives brutal competition to Uber Technologies in India, has fixed an introductory fare of Rs 2 per kilometer and Rs 1 per minute of trip time in Bangalore city with the minimum fare at Rs 30.
The Bike Taxi service offered by Uber christened uberMOTO in Bangalore city can be availed by the user with the help of Uber app on their smart phones for fares starting at Rs 3 a kilometer and the user can pay by cash or credit card for the service currently available for 14 hours a day commencing at 7 am.