Why girls have a sophisticated relationship with bike taxis

Bike taxis and their operations just lately got here below scanner after a 23-year-old girl from Kerala was allegedly gangraped by two individuals, together with a driver of Rapido, a well-known bike taxi aggregator, in Bengaluru final month. Earlier this 12 months, one other girl passenger was allegedly molested by a motorcycle taxi driver in Guwahati. These situations, coupled with an identical few, not simply spotlight the dearth of security of ladies in public transport and areas however have additionally, significantly, made the connection between bike taxis — a comparatively new phenomenon within the nation — and ladies fairly complicated. Earlier than we delve deeper into the identical, let’s perceive what bike taxis are.

A motorcycle taxi, often known as a bike taxi, is a licensed type of transport in some nations. It usually carries one passenger who rides a pillion behind the bike operator. Within the final couple of years, main cab aggregators within the nation together with Ola, Uber, and Rapido, along with a number of native operators, have initiated bike taxi providers as a less expensive and extra handy methodology of transport for single passengers. “As a comparatively low-cost mode of transport, this ridesharing product makes transportation extra reasonably priced and accessible, significantly for last-mile connectivity and brief journeys the place public transport doesn’t serve the transit want,” an Uber spokesperson informed indianexpress.com.

Whereas bike taxis might have made short-distance journey extra accessible and reasonably priced, they maintain a distinct (and sophisticated) relationship with girls, as in comparison with males. Lack of ladies riders, the shut proximity between the rider and the passengers throughout the rides, driving pace, and so on proceed to be some components limiting girls from availing these providers.

To know the identical, we reached out to a number of girls who shared why they have been hesitant to ebook a motorbike taxi as a substitute for an everyday cab. “Security causes and luxury are the 2 most important causes I don’t want bike taxis,” Nandita Mudgal, a 22-year-old resident from Ahmedabad mentioned, including that she finds it laborious to belief the driving force and is uncomfortable with the proximity.

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She added that one can’t guess if the rider is the rash driver. “In a cab, there’s nonetheless a way of security,” she added.

Echoing related sentiments, Shubhangi Rajoria, a 22-year-old resident from Mandsor mentioned she would “by no means want bike taxis over an everyday cab” owing to her security. “If we all know the world and are aware of town, then one would possibly nonetheless consider reserving a motorbike taxi, however apart from that, we would like common cab largely,” she added.

Ladies additionally highlighted that they haven’t encountered feminine bike taxi riders, another excuse that makes them keep away from the mode of transport. “I really feel, it’s not a secure sufficient selection for girls as they might not really feel snug sitting on a motorbike with a stranger except the driving force is a lady herself,” Nandani Singha, a 21-year-old resident from Silchar mentioned.

There’s a scarcity of ladies bike taxi riders (Supply: Getty Pictures/Thinkstock)

The Bengaluru incident additionally led to many questioning the lapses within the bike taxi firm’s hiring course of. “Taking a correct take a look at earlier than hiring a driver, checking earlier data, understanding his driving and ensuring he’s not rash driving are some measures bike taxi firms must take,” Mudgal mentioned, including that they have to maintain a “monitor on the drivers”.

A 25-year-old girl from Mumbai, added, “None of those firms do a correct background verify of drivers and fail to reply adequately and instantly when contacted for assist. Earlier than this method is strengthened, girls will concern such bike taxis.”

Singha emphasised conserving girls bike taxi drivers as an vital measure in the direction of making certain the protection of ladies passengers. Whereas main firms like Rapido and Ola didn’t reply to associated queries, an Uber Spokesperson mentioned, “In states like Meghalaya, we’ve got launched operations with girls Uber Moto drivers on the platform and have acquired large response. We intend to launch the service in a number of new markets given the product-market match.”

Equally, with issues over the protection of ladies travelling in bike taxis, an electrical mobility platform MetroRide, working in Delhi, Bengaluru and Hyderabad, is planning to rope in feminine riders. “After we began our three-wheeler providers a few years again, it was an unique women-driver platform. It was to make transport safer for girls and provides girls a chance to earn an honest dwelling. However, once we expanded, it was robust to get girls from all components so we grew to become inclusive. Nevertheless, each time a lady books a journey, our AI algorithm prioritises matching them with girls drivers and with male drivers solely when the previous just isn’t obtainable. However, in three-wheelers, the proximity is much less. Now that we’re launching two-wheeler providers, we did our analysis and a number of feminine passengers talked about that although, at occasions, they find yourself utilizing bike taxis, they aren’t very snug with it. So, our endeavour now’s to rent an increasing number of women and girls to drive in order that we’re in a position to give all the feminine passengers a feminine rider,” Girish Nagpal, CEO and Co-founder, MetroRide informed indianexpress.com.

Bike taxis are, nevertheless, only a small a part of the bigger public transport system the place girls really feel unsafe each time they journey. It’s corroborated by analysis, led by the Observer Analysis Basis, which indicated that just about 56 per cent of the ladies who used public transport reported being sexually harassed. Based on one other report, titled What Do Ladies and Women Need from City Mobility?, solely 9 per cent of ladies in Indian cities really feel public transport is solely secure.

As such, as governments, city native our bodies and transport authorities try to make transport extra accessible to girls, it’s essential they stroll the additional mile to make sure their security too.

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