Ola, the prominent cab aggregator, has introduced its electric bike taxi service in Bengaluru, commencing operations on Saturday. While Ola has previously operated conventional bike taxis in the city, this marks their first foray into electric bike taxi services. Ola's S1 electric scooters will now serve as bike taxis on the bustling streets of Karnataka's capital.
Ola, the renowned cab aggregator, has introduced electric bike taxi services in Bengaluru, commencing operations this Saturday. While Ola has previously operated bike taxis in the city, this marks the debut of electric bike taxis for the Indian ride-hailing giant. Ola’s fleet of S1 electric scooters is set to hit the streets as bike taxis, offering eco-friendly commuting options in Karnataka’s capital.
Bhavish Aggarwal, the co-founder and CEO of Ola, shared the news on the social media platform X, stating, “Restarting Ola Bike in Blr today. This time, all electric and our own S1 scooters.”
Restarting Ola Bike in Blr today 🙂
This time, all electric and our own S1 scooters!
₹25 for 5km, ₹50 for 10km.
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Lowest cost, very comfortable and great for the environment! Will scale across India over next few months. pic.twitter.com/HIB4Pu0SKQ
— Bhavish Aggarwal (@bhash) September 16, 2023
The pricing structure for these bike taxis is attractively set at ₹25 for a 5-kilometer ride and ₹50 for a 10-kilometer journey. Aggarwal emphasized the affordability and environmental benefits, saying, “₹25 for 5km, ₹50 for 10km. Lowest cost, very comfortable, and great for the environment! Will scale across India over the next few months.”
In recent times, cab and auto associations in Bengaluru have been urging the Karnataka government to impose a ban on bike taxis within the city. They argue that bike taxis pose safety concerns for women, and the use of white board registration plates is deemed illegal. Incidents of auto drivers attacking Rapido bike taxi drivers have also been reported.
However, the government has conveyed that any ban on bike taxis would need to undergo legal procedures. In response to the announcement of a Bengaluru bandh (strike) by the Federation of Karnataka State Private Transport Association, Karnataka Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy has pledged to address the concerns of auto and taxi drivers in the state.
It’s worth noting that Karnataka already has an electric bike taxi policy in place, introduced in July 2021, with the primary objective of enhancing last-mile connectivity for the residents of Bengaluru. This move by Ola aligns with the state’s ongoing efforts to promote eco-friendly and convenient transportation solutions.