As Delhi outlaws motorcycle taxis, jobs at Uber, Ola, and Rapido are at risk

An Ola motorcycle driver transports a passenger in Amritsar in this photo taken on September 12, 2019

The Indian capital of Delhi has outlawed motorbike taxis, a setback for services like Uber, Ola, and Rapido.

According to a government notice, it is illegal in India for private two-wheelers to transport paying passengers.

"Digital providers," the notice continues. A fine of up to 100,000 rupees ($1,208; £1,005) could be imposed for "facilitating such operations.".

The corporations have not yet responded.

Every day, thousands of Indians take advantage of the accessible motorbike taxis to navigate the slow-moving traffic. Thousands of people are also employed by them, many of whom transport passengers on their personal motorbikes.

Private vehicles, however, cannot be used for business purposes in India, per the Motor Vehicles Act.

When contacted by the Indian Express newspaper, some Delhi-based drivers who were impacted by the ban stated that they would struggle to make ends meet without the additional income.

The legal status of motorcycle taxis has caused problems in the past, too.

Rapido's motorcycle taxis were denied licenses by the Maharashtra state government in January on the grounds that there were no legal regulations governing the licensing of bike taxis, their safety, or their pricing. Additionally, the Bombay High Court ordered the company to cease operations because it lacked a valid license.

The Supreme Court then signaled for Rapido to return to the High Court as it approached.

Additionally, a few gig workers have demonstrated against these taxis. A gig workers' union in Telangana state wrote to the government in December pleading with them to take action to stop private vehicles from being used as bike taxis.

In a report released by Allied Market Research last year, the motorbike taxi market in India was estimated to be worth $50.5 million and was projected to grow to about $1 point5 billion by 2030.

However, the report warned that "legal issues related to bike taxi and opposition from local public transport operators restrains the market growth."

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