Bike-taxis can generate $4-5 billion revenue and 2 million jobs in India

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 17 Mar 2020

Representational image courtesy: Rapidgo

Ola Mobility Institute (OMI), today released an in-depth report that underscores the importance of two-wheelers in India and the potential of bike-taxis to stimulate economic and social development. The report titled, ‘The Power of Two Wheels - Bike Taxis: India’s new shared mobility frontier’ gives insights, recommendations and calls for an enabling policy framework to widen the scope of bike-taxis. 

OMI is a policy and social innovation think-tank of Ola, one of the largest ride-hailing platforms globally, that is focussed on developing knowledge frameworks at the intersection of mobility and the public good. The Institute focusses on public research on the social and economic impact of mobility as a service, electric mobility, climate change, future of work and the mobility economy, transit-oriented planning, digitalisation of mobility, accessibility, safety, and gender.

The study found that with the emergence of ride-hailing services, bike-taxis have gained popularity as a made-for-India solution. OMI in its detailed study conducted an analysis of bike taxi operations in Gurgaon and Jaipur. The study found that bike taxis are an ideal first mile-last mile solution as 70-85 percent of customers prefer to use bike-taxis to travel distances less than 7km. In Gurgaon, it has been observed that one in 3 trips are to and from metro stations with the majority of trips happening during peak hours. 

The report outlines the benefits of bikes-taxis in providing affordable and safe first- and last-mile connectivity, income augmentation and job-creation. It provides a detailed explanation of how different states and union territories in India stand to gain socially and economically by legitimising the operations of bike taxis.

Commenting on the report, Anand Shah, head, Ola Mobility Institute said, “India has one of the largest number of two-wheelers plying on the roads in the world. Shared mobility and hyperlocal delivery are witnessing strong uptake and bikes have emerged as the preferred choice for both passenger and goods movement. The report comes at a critical time when India needs to create 55-60 lakh new jobs annually over the next decade. Bike taxis will be key in achieving this target, democratising access to mobility and building an inclusive mobility ecosystem.”

The report estimates the revenue potential of bike taxis to be around $4-5 billion (Rs 29,708 crore to Rs 37,135 crore) along with generating over 2 million livelihood opportunities. It suggests that the key to effectively governing bike taxis as a mobility category lies in providing coherent legal clarity, integration of public transit systems, allowing access to formal credit for driver entrepreneurs and creating a level-playing field for all stakeholders.

The central government has paved the way for states to formulate policies for bike-taxi operations, however, currently, only a few states and union territories regulate this category. The report suggests that states can unlock the potential of bike-taxis as an affordable, efficient, fast and a safe mode of transportation to help India become a five trillion-dollar economy.