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Bike taxi service revs up in city

Bike taxi service (Rapido) seen ferrying passengers in Tiruchi.

Bike taxi service introduced in Tiruchi city by an aggregator two months back on the lines of Uber and Ola seems to be gaining customers.

Five hundred bike owners who have registered with the aggregator Rapido have offered 5,000 rides in the last one month, according to the figures provided by the firm.

The bike owners including college students, jobless graduates, and non-salaried employees of private concerns who are designated as Rapido Captains have been provided with two helmets each depicting the company's logo for the safety of pillion rider as well.

The customer riding pillion is also insured to the extent of Rs. 3 lakh between the point of pick-up and the destination. The insurance covers even small injuries and abrasions. The Rapido Captains are not expected to exceed 60 kmph speed, Pavan G, Co-Founder, Rapido, said, adding that the service utilised by commuters by way of booking their rides through the App downloaded from Google Playstore is fulfilling the intended purpose of providing last-mile connectivity across the city.

Commuting on two-wheelers for Rs. 3 per kilometre was not only quite convenient but also economical for commuters travelling solo with less luggage, Mr. Pawan said.

Rapido which had introduced its services in Madurai and Coimbatore subsequent to Tiruchi is learnt to be coordinating with the State Government for making its concept work. The Central Government had already approved the concept and advised the State governments to evolve the framework, Mr. Pavan said.

On the safety side, the company takes the ratings of the passengers and, in the event of finding the quality of service lower than expected level, deactivates the registration, he said.

There has been no deactivation of registration so far in Tiruchi.

An in-house team attends to calls of customers in case of emergencies.

Of the eight cities where the bike taxi service was introduced in the first quarter of 2018, the company has witnessed stronger progress in Tiruchi and Vijayawada.

So far, the company has not faced resistance from aggregators of three and four-wheeler taxi services in Tiruchi. The company's fundamental objective to offer affordable mode of commute has been understood well by the common man, Mr. Pavan felt.

But, unlike in the case of three-wheeler and four-wheeler taxi services, the Rapido Captains have not felt the need to obtain T-Board from the Transport authorities.

A senior official of the Transport Department said no instruction has been received so far from the State Government on regulation and monitoring of bike taxi services.


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