If you commute in Gurgaon, chances are that you have come across new, shiny green cycles parked at mini stands at Metro stations and other public places in the city. The 200-odd cycles are part of the new dockless bicycle sharing initiative by a city-based start-up that was launched in mid-December. The service is proving to be quite popular among Gurugrammers, especially among office-goers who now have an option to ditch autos and other modes of transport to ride these bikes to work.
(BCCL/ Ajay Kumar Gautam)
Ride within 5km of the cycle stand for Rs10 per hour
According to the operators of Mobycy, they currently have 200 cycles in Gurgaon, stationed at eight different locations. Commuters can simply reach one of the stands, install the app and take the cycle for a spin. The recommended distances for a ride are within 5km and the rent is as nominal as Rs10 per hour. The cycles are fitted with a smartlock that opens only when the QR code on the bike is scanned by a smartphone with the cycle-sharing app. As of January 3, the service sees around 650 rides per day across the city and the operators are confident they will touch the 1000-ride mark by the end of the month.
‘I can navigate through traffic easily during rush hours on a bicycle‘
Raman Kumar, the operator at HUDA City Centre Metro Station, says, “Each day, 30-40 people take cycles from this stand, and the number is increasing gradually. Sirf ladke hi nahin, ladkiyan bhi aati hain. Most of these people work in offices nearby and regularly take the bicycles.”
Abhishek Kumar, who rides these cycles to work daily from the Metro station, tells us, “I come from east Delhi and before this service began, I would take an auto from the Metro station to my office in Sector 44. It would cost me Rs40 and would take 15 minutes to reach the office, thanks to the traffic. However, on a cycle, it takes only six minutes as I can navigate through the traffic easily and it costs only Rs5. It‘s very convenient.”
‘Dockless feature solves city‘s last-mile connectivity issue‘
What makes this cycle-sharing concept different is that unlike the previous models started by the Municipal Corporation Gurgaon (MCG), this one is dockless. This means that one can rent a cycle from any of the stands and drop it off at a public place, like a bus stand, Metro station or a market near his/her destination. The app has a city map that shows all the cycles‘ location. So, the next commuter can then rent the cycle from there.
Mobycy CEO explains, “Usually, cycle renting services require one to take cycles from one stand to another, but we have removed that restriction. You can pick up the cycle from any stand and drop it off at a public place closest to your destination. It could be a bus stop, Metro station, or market near your destination.”
Abhishek Kumar, an east Delhi resident who rides these cycles to work daily from the Metro station to his office in Gurgaon‘s Sector 44 (BCCL/ Ajay Kumar Gautam)
Commuters say that this feature solves the problem of last-mile connectivity, which has troubled Gurgaon for quite some time. Deepanshu Agarwal, who lives near Guru Dronacharya Metro Station, says, “The last mile connectivity is the biggest problem that Gurugrammers face and this solves that to a certain extent. Since it is a dockless concept, it means one can take the bike from a stand and later park it at any public place near his/her destination.”
‘It gives us a good chance to do physical activity‘
Commuters say that apart from the ease of travel and economic benefits, cycling has been a good change for them as they are getting to do some physical activity.
Mayank Chhatwal, who cycles daily between HUDA City Centre and Sector 44, tells us, “I live in Mayur Vihar and take the Metro to Gurgaon. The three-hour commute every day means I have no time for any physical activity. Now, at least that is sorted.” In Sector 44, which has a high concentration of corporate offices, lunchtime is also a busy time for cycle rentals, as office-goers go for short rides to stay active. Santosh Gupta, who operates the stand in Sector 44, says, “Many people come down during the afternoon lunch break and take the cycles for a 15-minute ride. They say it is the only physical activity for them during the day.”
‘Availability of helmets and headlights would make our ride safer‘
Riders have also been giving feedback about what else can be done to improve the newly-started service. “They should install headlights in the cycles because that would make it easier for us to ride after dark. It will be safer too,” says Mayank.
Another regular rider, Amit Singh, points out, “They should also give helmets as that would promote safe riding.” The operators say they are now working to give the riders additional facilities like headlights for night rides. “We have been taking rider feedback into account, and trying to improve. We will definitely look into the headlight request and get that installed soon. We will also be increasing our fleet number to 600 gradually, and start operations at MG Road and Cyber City by the end of this week,” Akash says.
Gurgaon adds workout to its commute with this bicycle sharing initiative00:25
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