Kottayam: The two-wheeler taxi plan mooted by the Central government will have to wait in Kerala. The state transport department has rejected an application from the prominent taxi group Uber to start two-wheeler taxi operations. The state government fears that traffic accidents will multiply if two-wheeler taxis are allowed on the road.
"Bike taxis can't be allowed for now, considering the present condition of roads in Kerala. Majority of those involved in accidents on our roads are bike riders," Thomas Chandy, state minister for transport, said.
The minister also said that the government is working towards improving road safety and raising licensing system on a par with international standards.
"Surveillance cameras will be installed on the roads all over the state," he said adding that the bike taxis can be considered once these measures are in place.
Uber has been planning to launch in the service in Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode and later extend it to other urban areas. The group lead in 10 states where bike taxis operate.
The Center was of the view that two-wheeler taxis would reduce traffic and also provide employment opportunities to youngsters. It would also help in reducing carbon emission, and would provide a cheaper mode of public transport.
Those who run bike taxis are required to have a license and two years of experience. Such bikes will have a special color. The driver's dress will also be different. A first aid box is a must on the vehicle.
The bike owner will have to provide a helmet to the pillion-rider passenger. Two-wheeler taxis are GPS-regulated in some cities.