Hey Taxi! launches bike taxi and parcel delivery service in Mumbai
Hey Taxi! has launched a new app which will allow Mumbaiites to connect with motorcycle and scooter riders for taxi services and parcel deliveries. Founded by Mumbai entrepreneurs Manoj Maheshwari and Vikram Lakhotia, the company started operations on 5 June and has about 45 bike riders on its books.
“All our riders are registered with the traffic police and given guidelines on speed, safe riding practices and customer service,” said Lakhotia. “We also plan to conduct regular vehicle audits.”
According to the company website (www.heytaxi.in): “The service also allows customers to arrange parcel, package and envelope deliveries up to 5 kgs within a vicinity of 10 kms in real time and in an hassle free way. All this on an automated app based technology that is state of the art and run without any human interface at the booking level.”
The company may have run into a problem with city regulations, however. A report published today (12 June) by The Times of India quoted a “top official from the transport commissioner’s office” as saying: “We have come across reports of motorcycles and scooters operating like taxis with the help of a mobile app and offering rides to passengers with a proposed fare of Rs 10/km. We wish to inform citizens this is not approved either by the MMRTA or the state transport authority. No such fare or tariff has been fixed either, so it will be termed illegal.”
The newspaper also quoted “a senior RTO official” as saying: “Motorcycles and scooters are non-transport vehicles and cannot be used for goods or passenger transport. Bike taxis are popular (and legal) in Goa, but it is not permitted in Maharashtra.”
HeyTaxi! appears to be working its way round this problem by announcing that it is currently on a pilot run and not running a commercial service.
“We are yet to get the necessary approvals,” the company conceded, but added: “The project is in an experimental stage and we are not charging commuters a single paisa.”