What’s the news: “All operations of private motorbikes operating as bike taxis should be stopped in Telangana immediately,” demanded the Telangana Gig and Platform Workers’ Union (TGPWU) in a letter to the State Transport Ministry, viewed by Medianama. As per the letter sent on December 2, 2022, the TGPWU called for a cap, implemented by the state government, on new vehicles that are used as bike taxis and delivery vehicles. Aggregate platforms like Rapido, Ola, Uber ask bike owners to use their private vehicles for commercial purposes which violates Rules 50 and 51 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. “[It] specifies that taxi cab’s registration mark will be in black colour on yellow background,” said TGPWU President Shaikh Salauddin in the letter. If not a ban, the TGPWU asked that the companies at least register the bikes used for commercial reasons as per the Act. They argued that autos and cabs get fewer rides since bike taxis charge less fees for their services. The reduced charges are due to the fact that the riders don’t “pay road permit, taxes and license fees for operating a commercial vehicle,” claimed the TGPWU. Why it matters: MediaNama’s earlier talks with gig workers in Bengaluru also revealed a dislike within the community towards bike taxis. As per workers, the wages earned by the private bike owners takes away other drivers’ business and income. This aforementioned demand highlights the lack of regularisation within the aggregate platform systems—a grievance that workers have been voicing time and…
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