In an effort to increase the safety of both its customers and driver captains, Rapido, one of the most popular ride-hailing companies, is planning to equip auto rickshaws with seat belts. The company, under its new India-wide safety program, is taking this step to reduce the risk of injuries and fatalities from inevitable accidents. According to the company, this will ensure that all riders and passengers are provided with utmost safety. As per the company’s official media statement, this safety program will first commence in Bangalore and will soon expand to other cities in India.
Pavan Guntupalli, Co-founder of Rapido Auto, commented on the new safety program in a recent media interaction. He stated, “Being a responsible service provider, we truly believe that road safety is an important concern today, so running an awareness campaign and taking strict training sessions for captains (drivers) is part of our policy from day one…Since road accidents in India have startling statistics, Rapido’s initiative seeks to reduce fatalities and injuries.”
Furthermore, Guntupalli added that to ensure the safety of their customers, they have implemented a four-step verification process for their driver captains. They have also introduced a unique information-masking feature to protect the privacy and identity of female riders. Additionally, Rapido offers live ride tracking with access to granular latitudinal and longitudinal data, as well as 24/7 on-ground support for shared rides.
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In other news, the Delhi government, through the Delhi Transport Department, issued a public notice earlier this year in February, requiring all major cab aggregators, including Rapido, Ola, and Uber, to cease operating their bike taxi services immediately. The Delhi Transport Department stated that any organization or individual found in violation of this will face a Rs 5,000 punishment for the first offense and a Rs 10,000 fine and imprisonment for the second or subsequent offenses.
The official statement from the government of Delhi stated, “The aggregator policy, which is being finalized, plans to bring in norms to regularise bike taxis. The policy will make it mandatory for aggregators to onboard electric two-wheelers and encourage sustainable transportation, which is our focus.”
Furthermore, the transport department stated, “It has been brought to the notice that two-wheelers having non-transport (private) registration mark/numbers are being used to carry passengers on hire, which is purely a commercial operation and a violation of Motor Vehicle Act, 1988. In addition, the driving license of the driver will be suspended for a minimum period of three years.”
Additionally the concerned authority at the time stated that the digital organizations, notably Ola, Uber, and Rapido applications, that are aiding this operation, would be fined Rs 1 lakh under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. Prior to this ban in Delhi, the Bombay High Court also ordered the bike taxi aggregator Rapido to cease operations immediately since the company had not yet obtained a license from the Maharashtra government. Despite efforts from the startup, the court requested that the app be fully shut off.
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