India is a two-wheeler economy. As per Vahan digital register, there are around 245 million registered digitised vehicles in India as of 24 December 2018. However, around 75% of the registered vehicles are motorcycle / two-wheelers in India.
There was no clarity on the legal status of bike taxis in India. However, Ministry of Road Transport and Highway (MoRTH) clarified that:
“Under the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988 the states may issue permits for taxi under section 72 and 73. Therefore it is legal for the states to issue taxi permits for all kinds of vehicles including two wheelers.”
State Governments are competent to frame regulations for enabling bike taxis. The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2018 passed by the Lok Sabha proposes to strengthen public transport and shared mobility and has given more powers to states in this regard
The government is in favour of shared mobility which will help in reducing pressure on city and ease traffic jams. Till 2015, Goa was the only state in India which allowed bike as public service vehicle. The bike taxis have been made legal in 14 states. Bike taxis will offer solutions not only for wading through severe traffic congestions in metropolises but can provide affordable transportation to people in far-flung rural areas.
Government of India is planning to facilitate the rollout of bike taxis on a bigger scale and is preparing to introduce an app that will also include the new and economical way of commuting.