Last year, app-based two-wheeler taxi services such as Bikxie (in Gurgaon) and Baxi (Faridabad) were launched as effective means of easing congestion on the roads, providing commuters with an alternative to cabs and buses in the NCR (National Capital Region). While the reactions there have already been noted, Delhi still reels under heavy traffic and relies on cab services primarily. The app keeps a track of the route and distance covered, alongside the calculation of fare, working along the lines of a taxi’s metre machine. They also come with women drivers in many instances. So how does the student community react to the idea of such a scheme? Should it be inaugurated in Delhi too?
“Bikes and scooters are definitely more convenient. They will help with the Delhi traffic as well. But at the same time, one’s comfort level has to be kept in mind. I don’t think many people would be open to the idea of riding on a bike with a stranger. It’s not the same thing as travelling in a cab,” says Srishti Kapil, a student of Sri Venkateswara College, originally from Chandigarh. Another student from Lady Shri Ram College, however, sees no issues with the scheme if an equal number of women drivers were to be made available with a choice between drivers for each commuter.
Responses have been varied and wide-ranging, with some warming up to the idea and others absolutely rejecting it. There is, of course, also the issue of safety and necessity. While the app’s tracking feature makes it safe, it is not available on all operating systems. It is not available for Windows phones, which makes it inaccessible for several commuters. But the same could be said for several apps for cab-based four-wheeler services as well. In the case of Baxi, for instance, it is even possible to bypass the app and hail a bike directly, if the driver is not plying on any route and is standing free. Then there is the question of whether Delhi needs such a service in the first place. Several students also pointed out that with a robust public transport system, connectivity is not a major issue in the capital. According to them, with autos and cabs already plying on the roads unlike in the NCR, most of the parts of the city are well-connected. Besides, the Delhi Metro has been making in-roads rapidly too. The idea, however, is no doubt unique and one the capital could perhaps use as an alternative to cabs so as to cover shorter distances if not the longer stretches.
Image credits: Hindustan Times