Uber has launched a bike cab service in Chandigarh which has become a hot topic of conversation amongst youngsters. Although the launch was not publicized, bookings for the service picked up the pace on Sunday, with the riders running the service claiming that they were busy the whole day.
Uber initiated this service with 50 bike taxis as a mode of cheaper travel for a single person in Chandigarh and Mohali. The initiative is a byproduct of the scheme of Punjab Government, ApniGaddiApnaRozgar, aiming to provide jobs to youngsters who belong to the lower-income groups of the society. Uber has already experimented with UberMoto in Rajasthan, Goa, Gujarat, Noida, Gurugram, Bangalore and Ghaziabad, and the model has been a success everywhere. Uber plans to extend the service to the remaining parts of Tricity and neighboring cities.
There is a longer waiting duration than a normal Uber cab, attributed to the limited number of vehicles launched under this model. Even though the service tests our patience, it is considered economical and cheaper than a normal cab. The service bills out around half of a normal cab ride. The riders, who are mostly young graduates, follow the traffic laws and insist on the customers to wear the spare helmet that they carry along. Uber has issued that the riders have to wear an orange T-shirt with the company logo on it to be recognized as the riders. The fleet includes various models of Bajaj, Hero, Honda, Suzuki and Royal Enfield, all models purchased after 2013. The riders help identify themselves by wearing an orange helmet too.
Besides their driving license, the riders have been issued with special permit letters authorized by the District Transport Officer, Mohali, for five years. The UT State Transport Authority, however, has not issued any permit to the company. The UT STA Secretary Rajiv Tiwari said that Uber has applied for a permit to move around in Chandigarh which has not been issued yet. But they have a permit to move around in Mohali and even though the service has been running in Chandigarh, he was not aware of it. He also informs that Ola Cabs have also applied for a permit for their bike cab services, which has not been granted either.