Bengaluru: 40 bike taxis seized, riders want Rapido to pay fine | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: Around 40 riders operating for online bike-taxi startup Rapido gathered outside HSR Layout police station on Friday and sought intervention of cops after their two-wheelers were seized by RTO officials.
For a couple of days now, RTO officials have been seizing bikes attached with Rapido across the city, claiming the bike-taxi service has no licence. According to RTO, owners of the seized motorbikes should pay a minimum fine of Rs 5,500 to get the vehicles released. The protesters urged police to get Rapido officials pay the amount and get their bikes released.
The standoff comes amid the government’s efforts to woo investors and promote Karnataka as a startup hub.
“RTO officials say Rapido doesn’t have the licence to run bike taxis here. On the contrary, the startup told us they have licence and we trusted them,” a rider told TOI.
“Most of us do different jobs like food delivery and courier service. During spare time, we run the bikes as taxis and earn around Rs 500 a day. Of this, Rs 150 goes for fuel and Rs 100 for other expenses like food. Now, we have been told to shell out Rs 5,500 as fine for illegally running bike taxis,” another rider said.
According to Rapido riders, RTO officials seized around 30 bikes so far. “They book a ride with drop location as the nearest RTO office. After reaching the destination, we will be taken to the office; a case will be booked and our vehicles seized,” the riders said.
Talks on with management

A Rapido spokesperson, who was at HSR Layout police station, told TOI that talks are on with the management, with a request to pay the fine on behalf of the riders. “As of now, 18 bike taxis attached with Rapido have been seized in different parts of the city. The management is making all efforts to pay for the seized vehicles,” he said.
But the spokesperson refused to comment on whether the startup has the licence to run bike taxis.

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Sagar Biswas

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