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Back shield for riders introduced by Rapido bike taxi service
Back shield for riders introduced by Rapido bike taxi service

Social distancing on bike taxi? Rapido introduces 'back shields'

  • A lightweight shield, made of PVC board material, will be attached to the back of Rapido driver partners.
  • The shield will make for a considerable distance between riders and customers, preventing spread of coronavirus .

Bike taxi platform Rapido has introduced 'back shields' for its rider partners as a measure of safety against coronavirus. With this, the company aims to further increase the safety aspect of using a bike taxi during the ongoing pandemic.

The back shield, that will be worn by riders during trips, will help prevent any contact with customers on the pillion seat. Made of lightweight PVC board material, the shield will be attached to the rider's back like a rucksack, hence making for a considerable distance with the customer. Rapido says the shield weighs 400gms, which is lighter than some of the smartphones in the market.

The company will bear the cost of installation of the shields in order to ease the financial burden on the riders while ensuring successful adoption of the new safety measure. "[Our] innovative back shield will act as a protective gear that will further increase the safety of our rides," says Aravind Sanka, Co-Founder at Rapido.

(Also read: Motorcycle taxis in this country get backpack shield to battle Covid-19)

Rapido says the back shield weighs 400gms, which is lighter than some of the smartphones in the market.
Rapido says the back shield weighs 400gms, which is lighter than some of the smartphones in the market.

Before introducing the back shields, the company conducted test rides in cities including Hyderabad, Delhi, Bengaluru, Kolkata and Jaipur. It claims that around 800 driver partners wore the shields and completed their rides. The pilot run included testing the aerodynamics of various materials to build a shield with the right size and quality that is compact and comfortable for riders. It also tested ways to minimise touch points for customers during the rides.

(Also read: Covid-19: Rapido ties up with essential suppliers to aid last-mile deliveries)

Apart from the back shield, Rapido had previously introduced a set of safety measures such as requesting customers to carry their own helmets to maintain hygiene. It also introduced a policy support where the company provides free cancellation if riders or customers are without a mask.

Other safety measures for riders include installation of Aarogya Setu app, wearing masks, carrying sanitizers and sanitizing bikes, among others.

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