Ola, the popular cab aggregator, has officially resumed its bike taxi services in Bengaluru, marking a significant shift towards environmental sustainability. While Ola has previously offered bike taxis in the city, this is the first time the Indian ride-hailing giant is deploying electric bike taxis in the region. Ola’s choice for this eco-friendly initiative is their very own S1 electric scooters.
Bhavish Aggarwal, Co-founder and CEO of Ola, shared the news on the social media platform X, saying, “Restarting Ola Bike in Blr today. This time, all electric and our own S1 scooters.” The decision to go electric aligns with Ola’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions and promoting eco-friendly transportation options.
The pricing for Ola’s electric bike taxis is set at ₹25 for a 5-kilometer ride and ₹50 for a 10-kilometer journey. Aggarwal also emphasized the affordability and environmental benefits of this service, stating, “₹25 for 5km, ₹50 for 10km. Lowest cost, very comfortable and great for the environment! Will scale across India over the next few months.”
Despite the eco-friendly focus, bike taxis have faced opposition from cab and auto associations in Bengaluru. These associations have raised concerns about the safety of women passengers and the legality of bike taxis operating with whiteboard registration plates. Incidents of auto drivers attacking Rapido bike taxi drivers have also been reported.
In response to these concerns, the Karnataka government has stated that imposing a ban on bike taxis would require following legal procedures. The Federation of Karnataka State Private Transport Association previously announced a Bengaluru bandh in protest. Karnataka Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy has committed to addressing the concerns of auto and taxi drivers in the state.
Notably, Karnataka already has an electric bike taxi policy in place, which was introduced in July 2021. The policy’s primary objective is to enhance last-mile connectivity in Bengaluru, promoting sustainable and convenient transportation options for the city’s residents.
Sources By Agencies