The State Transport department cracked down on app-based bike taxi service Rapido, which was operating in the city illegally, by impounding 38 two-wheelers on Wednesday.
Sources said that Transport department officials asked the drivers’ union to help them nab the illegal bike taxis. “We seized 47 bike taxis three months ago by booking rides on Rapido App. But they had blacklisted our numbers and we no longer could book rides using our mobile numbers. Besides, they cancel the ride if they identified our mobile numbers using the True Caller App,” the official said.
“Moreover, we also need evidence of a transaction to file cases. So we sought the help of the drivers’ union who were protesting against the bike taxi service. They arrived at Meenambakkam in hired two-wheelers, where we impounded their vehicles,” he added.
“Personal vehicles cannot be used for transport purposes. But the bikers register in the Rapido App and pick up and drop a person for money. It violates the Motor Vehicles Act,” Muthu said, adding that in case the vehicle met with a fatal accident, the deceased person’s family would not get third party insurance claim if personal vehicle was used for commercial purposes.
Meanwhile, call taxi drivers urged the Transport Department to take steps to stop bike taxi services as it affects their livelihood. “We pay for permits and fitness certificates for tourist cabs but bike taxis are being operated illegally without paying any taxes,” he said.