Delhi to allow only electric bike taxis as state government notifies new rule
Delhi will phase out existing bike taxis soon as it pushes for complete electrification of app-based cab aggregators. The state government has issued a notification called the Delhi Motor Vehicle Aggregator and Delivery Service Provider Scheme 2023, which will allow only electric bike taxis to ply in the national capital region by 2030. Currently Ola, Uber and Rapido are some of the key bike taxi operators in Delhi which have both petrol and electric models in their fleet. Earlier, bike taxis in Delhi faced ban unless they were turned into EV fleet.
According to the proposed cab aggregator policy, all entities operating in the city have to obtain licence within three months from the date of the notification. These licences will be valid based on annual fees, unless it is electric, and will last for five years. The new scheme will offer 50 per cent rebate for vehicles that are less than two years old.
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The move to electrify bike taxis come as Delhi government's initiative to achieve net zero emission through public transport. It already has nearly a thousand electric buses in its fleet. Gopal Rai, Environment Minister of Delhi, addressed a press conference on Wednesday, saying this is the first time that cab aggregator guidelines included phase-wise electrification of bike taxi operators.
Delhi is often gripped with high pollution levels which is mostly contributed by vehicular emission according to a report by the state government. It recently banned BS3 petrol and BS4 diesel vehicles from plying as air quality hit hazardous levels in the past few weeks. The decision to electrify bike taxis and cabs is seen as a move to cut down on polluting vehicles from the city. Rai said, “There has been a long need for licensing and regulating the aggregators in Delhi for smoother operations for Delhiites. India has set a target to achieve net zero (emissions) by 2070. This scheme is an initiative by the capital city towards the same. It is also the first time that we are allowing bike taxis to run in the city."
Besides electrification, the new rule will also ensure public safety and convenience. The state government said that it will form rule on surge pricing as well in case consumers file complaint against aggregators.