Bike-taxis may soon start operating in Karnataka capital Bengaluru under the new rules laid by the Road Transport Authority (RTA). The news may bring some respite to cab aggregators Uber and Ola, who have been going on and off with the Karnataka government on the execution of bike-taxi service in the city. After deeming the practice illegal and impounding several two-wheelers, the state government is now reconsidering its decision.
Meanwhile, Uber is celebrating World Earth Day on April 22 by encouraging commuters to share their rides with others in Bengaluru. The aim is to curb pollution and congestion in one of the busiest cities in India.
"At Uber, we believe that there is a real alternative to a world that looks like a parking lot and moves like a traffic jam," Bhavik Rathod, GM, South & West, Uber, said in a statement. "By making carpooling hassle-free, we can help cut congestion and pollution. On the occasion of World Earth Day, we urge Bangaloreans to use ride-sharing services like uberMOTO, uberPOOL and uberCOMMUTE and help us in our aim to de-congest Bengaluru."
Uber's ride-sharing options include the UberPool and UberCommute services in cars and the UberMoto option on two-wheelers. While the former carpooling options have been running successfully in the city, UberMoto is under scrutiny by the state government. But the cab aggregator is offering flat 50 percent off on UberMoto fares and on UberGo fares if the rider opts for UberPool.
UberMOTO has a base fare of Rs. 15 and charges Rs. 3 per kilometre and Re. 1 per minute of the ride time. No promo code is required to avail the discount, but it is valid only on one ride between 8 a.m. to 12 noon on April 22.
Uber is further tempting riders to opt for the carpooling option on April 22 by offering 100 percent cash back for Airtel Money users, which is applicable only on up to two UberMoto or UberPool rides. A maximum cash back on each ride is limited to Rs. 300 and the amount will be credited to the account on April 25, Uber noted in its terms and conditions.
While these carpooling services are optional, riders who choose to travel alone can always request UberGo or UberX.
Correction: This story has been corrected to reflect that Uber's bike-sharing service has been in service since March 4 in pilot mode. It was not launched on Earth Day as originally reported.