Stop the harassment: Bike taxi drivers protest RTO action.

Two-wheeler operators affiliated with the Rapido taxi service demonstrated near the Koramangala RTO office in Hosur-Sarjapur Road Layout (HSR Layout), accusing officials of demanding a Rs 10,500 fine. The protest comes just a day after inspectors from the Road Transport Office (RTO) impounded more than 150 bikes, claiming that using white-board vehicles for commercial reasons violates the Motor Vehicles Act.

Rapido, an app-based aggregator, offers a bicycle taxi service. The company does not own the two-wheelers. Individual owners sign up with Rapido in order to receive ride bookings for which the firm charges a commission. The drivers of auto-rickshaws and taxis are arranging rides and assisting RTO inspectors in catching us. We are not engaging in any criminal activity. In reality, we assist customers in travelling from one location to another at a reasonable cost. Why don't officials allow us to make a living?, a driver inquired.

Another driver told RTO authorities levied a Rs 10,500 fine but did not provide them with a receipt. They signed a piece of paper with the amount written on it. Who will accept this as a legal document? This harassment must end, he stated.

'Ban Rapido'

Meanwhile, members of the Peace Auto and Taxi Drivers Association protested the bike taxis and submitted a statement to the government requesting that Rapido be banned.

"The Covid-19 pandemic has reduced our daily revenue over the last two years. Allowing bike taxis will take away even the last few rupees we have left," said Manirajan, an auto driver.

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