Mumbai’s first quadricycle vehicle hit the city roads recently and has already been turning many heads. The new vehicle — which falls under the category of microcars —was registered at the Wadala regional transport office (RTO) last month.
Quadricycles are four-wheeled vehicles, the size of autorickshaws. Though they resemble tiny cars, these vehicles have nearly half the weight of smaller cars, more frugal engines and are equipped with only basic features.
In June 2018, the Union government approved the commercial sale of quadricycles. In Maharashtra, the State Transport Authority (STA) has given the nod to register it as a public service vehicle on January 25, 2019.
According to RTO officials, quadricycle fares will be the same as those of autorickshaws. As per STA resolution, a new quadricycle permit has been issued, which features the same conditions as that of the auto permit.
Being a public service vehicle, Mumbai’s quadricycles have to be painted a black-and-yellow scheme like conventional taxis and autos. Sampat Bhalekar, a resident of Chembur, was the first person in the city to register his Bajaj ‘Qute’ quadricycle.
He has been plying it for over a fortnight but claims passengers are hesitant to hail it.
“As it resembles a taxi with four wheels, passengers looking for autos are hesitant to sit in my vehicle,” said Bhalekar. For this reason, he has put ‘auto rickshaw’ signs on the front and rear of the vehicle.
The Qute had initially faced regulatory hurdles due to safety concerns and because they don’t meet emission norms.