RTOs continue to seize bike-taxis in Chennai

The state transport department continues with its drive to seize illegal bike-taxis operating in the city. A total of 43 vehicles, operated by Bengaluru-based private ride-sharing platforms, were caught this month operating without necessary permit. 

The RTO seized these vehicles in Anna Nagar, KK Nagar, Poonamalle and Porur. TOI last month had reported that 18 cases were booked for such offences and firms continue to operate, despite warnings. 

Around 700 bike-taxis hit city roads in February and they charged 15-20 as base fare, 3 for every km travelled. It got good response as it was much cheaper than cabs and metro. 

Though such services are popular in Bengaluru and Goa, it is illegal in Tamil Nadu, said a senior transport department official. "There is no provision in TN Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989. A proposal to amend the rules to allow their operation is pending with the government," the official added.

Meanwhile, people attached to app-based taxi services protested against the bike-taxis, claiming it's affecting their revenue collection. "Given an option between 40 and 100 for a ride, a passenger will obviously choose the former. If firms are going to have bike-taxis, they should ensure that we get a minimum number of rides in a day, otherwise we will have no option but to quit," said R Nagaraj, one of the protestors.