Quadricycles will soon make a foray in Bengaluru. But the autorickshaw drivers are already feeling threatened over their entry whereas the commuters are still confused whether to continue with their regular commuting options or try quadricycles for a change.
Most probably, the commuters in Bengaluru will switch over to these new four-wheel autorickshaws as they promise improvement in last-mile connectivity.
Comfortable And Safer Than Traditional Autos
These quadricycles are comfortable and much safer as compared to the traditional autos and hence may attract commuters very fast. A recent notification issued by the Centre that allows the sale of quadricycles for private use says, “A quadricycle is a vehicle of the size of a three-wheeler, but with four-tires and is fully covered like a car. It has an engine like that of a three-wheeler. This makes it a cheap and safe mode of transport for last-mile connectivity.”
Bajaj has already introduced its Qute vehicle in the market. Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra are also vying to enter the quadricycle bandwagon which has all the potential to replace auto-rickshaws for commuting within the city.
RTA Yet To Take A Decision
According to a senior transport official, the Regional Transport Authority (RTA) is yet to take any decision on registering quadricycles. He said, “We are yet to register quadricycles. A quadricycle plying within the city will get an autorickshaw permit and those operating outside the city will get a motor cab permit. Anyone operating them outside the state will have to get an All India Contract Carriage Permit. Fare for quadricycles with auto permit in Bengaluru will be Rs 13 per km. It’ll be Rs 14.5 per km for those with motor cab permit. Each permit has to have a separate color, but RTA hasn’t taken a decision on this.”
To ensure that they do not lose on revenue after the entry of quadricycles on the streets of Bengaluru, cab aggregator Uber has decided to introduce 100 quadricycles in the city by June 15. The On-Demand Transportation Technology Aggregators (ODTTA) of Karnataka makes it mandatory for individual tax permit holders or aggregators to own at least 100 vehicles to get a license.
As per the rules of ODTTA for the vehicles costing less than Rs.5 lakh the minimum and maximum fare should be in between Rs.11 and Rs.22 per km respectively. It also means that quadricycles from Uber will be covered under this category and will have the same fare.
Best Option Over BMTC And Cabs For Commuters
Transport Department’s principal secretary B Basavaraj said, “This is a new vehicle in the transport segment. We are examining the pros and cons as well as the feasibility of quadricycles on our roads.” An auto driver P Manjunath said, “Our business has already been hit due to app-based cabs. Now, allowing these vehicles in the city will further affect our revenue.”
Each quadricycle will have a seating capacity of four including the driver. It has a maximum speed of 70 km/hour and gives a mileage of around 25 km/liter. Road experts are of the opinion that already quadricycles are rapidly replacing traditional autos in major cities. One of the road experts said, “It may be safer than regular autos, but it is not advisable to operate on highways. This could be an ideal vehicle for an intra-city commute.”
Edwin Thomas a regular commuter who has already traveled in quadricycles in Kerala says, “Cabs are becoming expensive and BMTC buses are not reliable. So, these quadricycles will provide a relatively affordable and comfortable option. In fact, they will have space for luggage.”