The Mumbai Traffic Police have booked six motorcyclists associated with the Rapido bike-taxis in the Santacruz-Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) vicinity for plying their app-based bike-taxi services without any legitimate permission granted by the Maharashtra government and the transport commissionerate. Furthermore, the traffic police have appealed to the people to avoid travelling by Rapido or any other bike-taxi services which have not been granted permission or lend their vehicle to anyone for this purpose.
Rapido, one of the country's largest bike taxi platforms, had launched its service in the city on Friday, offering fixed fares starting as low as Rs 6 per km, making it an affordable commute option in Mumbai where traffic jams are common. Acting on a complaint lodged with the city traffic police in connection to the app-based bike-taxi services, the BKC and Santacruz traffic police posts booked six Rapido riders under relevant sections of the Motor Vehicle Act for plying a vehicle without permit.
A senior traffic official said that the punishment under the sections imposed on the accused riders attracts a fine upto ₹2,000 while a subsequent offence may attract a six month prison sentence or fine upto Rs 3000 or both. Subsequently, the traffic department will make a report and send it to the transport commissionerate, who may take further action, if the need persists.
A transport official added that the proposal for any bike-taxi service in a city like Mumbai needs to be evaluated and the consequences of this act has to be duly considered with the surge of additional two-wheelers on the road. Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the company had earlier said that they had all the permissions in place and added that the company aims to address the issue of first and last mile connectivity for customers.