After good response, Navi Mumbai to add 100 more rental cycle stands
The ‘Cycle on Rent’ initiative started by Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) has received a good response with over 6,000 residents using these cycles (both e-bikes and traditional bicycles) on weekly basis, officials said.
The NMMC has installed 100 stands across the city with a total of 700 cycles, used by over 1.5 lakh people in the last three years. The NMMC will make these cycles available at 200 spots across the city from Diwali this year.
With the hike in fuel prices in recent times, more and more people, especially delivery executives, are using these bicycles for intra-city travelling, a senior officer said. Many residents even use them for exercising or for running small errands.
Nandita Kulkarni, 37, a homemaker from SBI colony in Nerul, said, “I have been using a rental bicycle service near Wonders Park in the afternoons, four to five days a week. It has been fun as a few other women from my building also join me. I started cycling at the start of this year and have lost a few kilos in the past few months. I feel much energetic now. I spend around ₹400-500 on these cycles every month.”
The NMMC started the ‘Cycle on Rent’ project in association with a startup Yulu in November, 2018. Travelling on a rental bicycle is relatively cheaper than the other modes of transportation in Navi Mumbai. A user can rent a bicycle for 30 minutes by paying ₹10. After that, he has to pay ₹5 every 30 minutes. Likewise, the base rent for an e-bike is ₹5 and then goes up to ₹1.50 for every minute. The NMMC has different packages for the food delivery startups that use these bikes and cycles on a daily basis.
Rajesh Kanade, deputy municipal commissioner of the NMMC (estate) said, “Presently, we are offering this service at 100 places in partnership with just one startup (Yulu) and all the bicycles and e-bikes are one-seater. We are now in a process of introducing the services at another 100 places in partnership with two other startups. In the second initiative, we will have only e-bikes and they will be two-seaters. The new e-bikes should hit the city roads before Diwali”.
“By introducing such bicycles and e-bikes, we are trying to decrease the pollution level and implement the central government’s ‘last mile connectivity’ scheme in the city. For example, hundreds of people travel from Turbhe railway station to the APMC market at Vashi every day. If we start one stand (of bicycles and e-bikes) near the station and one stand near the market, those people will be able to use them for travelling. Also, we don’t have to spend much on them as their maintenance is taken care of by the respective startups,” he said.
A representative from Yulu said that presently they are providing services in Navi Mumbai, Thane, BKC, and Kharghar. Of all these places, they are receiving the maximum response in Navi Mumbai. “One bicycle or e-bike is rented up to four times a day in Navi Mumbai. They are fitted with GPS and hence we can easily track their locations in case the users do not return them on time,” he said.
Bhupal Singh, 36, a resident of Vashi said, “I have been using these rental bicycles for the past two years and finding it convenient. You can easily go from one place to another on these cycles by paying ₹20 to 25. For travelling the same distance in an autorickshaw, you may have to shell out over ₹100. The NMMC should make this facility available at every nook and corner of Navi Mumbai.”
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