The Bangalore Transport Department has asked Ola to stop offering its bike taxi services in Bangalore, reports the Economic Times. The report cited Narendra Holkar, the Additional Commissioner of Transport and Secretary of the State Transport Authority, as saying that he has directed the department’s officials to seize taxis if found operating and penalise them. Holkar cited a lack of policy as the rationale for the seizures and penalties. However, according to a Hindu report, the department has already seized around 200 Ola and Rapido (another bike taxi service) bikes after officers posed as customers, apparently booking cases against the operators and fining them Rs 2,000. MediaNama could not independently verify this. Note that the seizing of vehicles has happened in 2017 as well. Ola refused to comment for this story, and we’ve reached out to Rapido. Uber does not currently operate bike taxis in Bangalore, it said. The Karnataka Transport Department, STA and BMRTC could not be reached till publish time. Last August, the transport department said that it was looking into the concept of bike taxis and whether they could be feasible in the city. It cited women’s safety and the safety of passengers as its concerns. Pilot limbo ET reports that Ola was running the bike taxis on a pilot for a week, which seems repetitive because Ola first launched its bike taxis in the city 3 years ago, in March 2016. Days after its launch, the Karnataka State Transport department deemed Ola's and Uber’s bike taxi services illegal,…
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