Back in 2005 motorcycle taxis were thought to be facing a ban. They had been in operation for some 25 years getting customers rapidly from A to Z, but there was a debate within the EU as to whether a vehicle with two wheels could be classed as a taxi. Luckily this was resolved and motorcycle taxis are now a much needed part of life in London and other big cities throughout the world.
Recently, in the UK, motorcycle taxis received a boost when Transport for London announced that following trials motorcycles will be able to drive in bus lanes in London on a permanent basis. There are now an estimated 50,000 journeys a day being made by motorcyclists in the London bus lanes.
Motorcycle taxis not only offer a fast way of getting though the traffic but they also offer firms a way of offsetting their carbon footprint. Here Bikesure, the freethinking motorcycle insurance broker, takes a look at the motorcycle taxi business.
There’s no need to worry about clothing and safety equipment as most motorcycle taxi firms supply everything you’ll need to keep warm and dry, such as helmets, jackets, gloves and over-trousers. Some even supply a waterproof blanket which covers you from the waist down (useful it you’re wearing a skirt) and a neck warmer.
Passenger Bikes operate thoughout greater London and will do trips out to Heathrow and Gatwick Airoprts. It claims to be the world’s first 100% carbon negative transportation company.
Richard Branson set up Virgin Limobike in November 1995 to speed the Virgin Atlantic Upper Class passengers to and from the airport. It uses Yamaha FJR1300’s (with ABS) which have been fitted with a comfortable rear seat back.
Chauffeur Bikes is another London-based taxi company. As well as the regular taxi service it offers sightseeing tours in London and the surrounding countryside.
In Paris, in 2009, regular taxi drivers protested about what they saw as the encroachment of motorcycle taxis on their business, but now, as in other big cities, Parisians rely on motorcycle taxis to get them around without holdups. The Paris Green Car firm boasts its environmental credentials, while using Suzuki Burgman 650cc Maxi Scooters or Honda Goldwing 1800cc giants to transport customers with the desired fashionable chic.
Further afield other countries are finding motorcycle taxies are the way to beat the jams. Although this crazy journey through the streets of Bangkok, is not for the faint-hearted. When your driver says keep your knees in it might be time to question the wisdom of your choice of transport!
In Goa, India, motorcycle taxis are called pilots – perhaps an indication of the speed you might be travelling. Passengers are advised to settle the fare in advance to avoid any confusion and arguments – not bad advice when using any taxi service for the first time.