How the business of bike taxis is touching new heights

Aravind Sanka, Co-founder, Rapido, touches upon crucial factors that determine why bike taxis are the next big thing in the transportation industry.
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Bike taxis are affordable, convenient, and quick. Hence, they resolve the essential needs of daily commuters. One of the biggest secrets of success for a business model is the utility derived by customers. However, only a few ‘ideas’ provide customer value and various other benefits to the environment, transportation system, and society.

Based on these perceived and actual benefits to different stakeholders, the business of bike taxis has witnessed an unprecedented growth rate of 10 percent per month, and has a market potential of $5 billion in the context of India.

Two-wheelers in India are a prevalent and trusted source of transportation. Before COVID-19, the total number of two-wheelers sold in India was more than 21 million units in a year.

With the Indian government making constant efforts to improve safety standards in two-wheelers sold in the country, such as mandating handholds in all such vehicles, the overall popularity of two-wheelers is expected to continue in the future.

There is not one but various reasons why the bike taxis business (called by different terms by various service providers) has flourished and grown in the past few years. This article takes account of the most crucial factors that determine why bike taxis are the next big thing in the transportation industry:

Bike taxis are affordable and convenient

With the increase in fuel prices, overall rentals of traditional and app-based cabs also swelled. In such a scenario, bike taxis have ensured that quick transportation could be facilitated at affordable prices. Since two-wheelers enjoy better fuel efficiency, especially compared to cars, the total cost of transportation could be controlled.

As the bike taxis are controlled and operated through mobile applications which have a similar interface to any other well-functioning app, the overall process of booking a bike taxi and payment is also very convenient.

Easing the problem of last-mile connectivity

Bike taxis are a more affordable and comfortable means of transport through which commuters can reach office/home or any other destination from bus stops or metro stations. The point is relevant in areas where car maneuvering is tricky, such as crowded marketplaces and railway stations.

Bike taxis promote sustainability

Driving a car and taking cabs for short routes could increase an individual’s carbon footprint. Since two-wheelers are fuel-efficient and generate a lesser amount of carbon dioxide per kilometre travelled, one of the important reasons for choosing a bike taxi would be to reduce negative impact on the environment. With Bharat VI emission standards in place, two-wheelers are more environment friendly than ever.

Effects of economic recovery

With COVID-19 affecting the overall economic growth during a major part of 2020, the Q2 of the current year witnessed a GDP growth rate of 8.4 percent, which indicates a trend of recovery in all sectors. Offices are reopening, and people are getting back to normality.

In such a condition, the overall demand for bike taxis is expected to increase as students, office goers, and the public, in general, would need to travel to different parts of the city.

Once again, the importance of affordability and convenience would be reiterated here, adding to the overall potential of bike taxis to expand their operations further.

Limited investment and higher returns for riders (partners)

For a rider (partner) associated with a bike taxi company, it provides an excellent opportunity to invest a small amount (compared to a car) along with little maintenance costs, which results in a higher amount of return. This is the reason why a lot of new partners are getting associated with bike taxi apps. The overall availability of bike taxi services in different towns and cities is therefore increasing.

With the country getting back on track on the economic front, it would be only fitting to predict that the business of bike taxis will touch even greater heights. The reasons mentioned in this article are expected to be relevant in the coming years as well. With governmental support and improvements in safety standards, an important issue related to commutation and last-mile connectivity will be effectively addressed.

Edited by Anju Narayanan

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)