Jobs at risk for Uber, Ola, and Rapido as Delhi outlaws motorcycle taxis

In this image from September 12, 2019, an Ola motorcycle driver is seen in Amritsar transporting a passenger

Delhi, the capital of India, has outlawed motorcycle taxis, which is bad news for businesses like Uber, Ola, and Rapido.

According to a government notice, it is illegal to use private two-wheelers to transport passengers for hire in India.

Digital providers are mentioned in the notice. The maximum fine for "facilitating such operations" is 100,000 rupees ($1,208; £1,005).

The businesses have not yet responded.

Every day, thousands of Indians use reasonably priced motorbike taxis to cut through slow-moving traffic. Additionally, they give jobs to thousands of people, many of whom transport passengers on their personal motorbikes.

However, the Motor Vehicles Act prohibits the use of private vehicles in India for commercial purposes.

Some of the drivers in Delhi who were impacted by the ban were interviewed by the Indian Express newspaper, and they stated that they would struggle to get by without the extra money.

It's not the first time that motorcycle taxis have run into legal issues.

The Maharashtra state government declined to issue licenses to Rapido's motorcycle taxis in January, claiming that there were no legal regulations governing the licensing of bike taxis, their safety, or their pricing. The company was also ordered to cease operations by the Bombay High Court because it lacked a valid license.

When Rapido approached the Supreme Court, it was told to go back to the lower court.

Additionally, some gig workers have protested these taxis. A Telangana state gig workers' union wrote to the government in December pleading with them to take action against private vehicles used as bike taxis.

India's motorbike taxi market was estimated to be worth $50.5 million in a report released by Allied Market Research last year, and it was projected to grow to about $1 point5 billion by 2030.

The report issued a warning, noting that "legal issues associated with bike taxi and resistance from local public transport operators restrains the market growth."

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