Indore initiates rent-a-cycle i-bike service to tackle pollution

From Times of India

INDORE: In a bid to revive the rent-a-cycle scheme, Atal Indore City Transport Company Ltd (AICTSL) is trying to attract city residents with pedal assist bicycles, being implemented for the first time in India.

The pedal assist bicycles – cycles with battery powered support for pedalling – are on display at AICTSL cycle stands on BRTS. i-Bike, the firm contracted by AICTSL to run the public bicycle system, is targeting bike and car owners to opt for the green transport, thus the cycles costing Rs 30,000 each, have been brought in. The rental scheme is also linked to technology to make it fool-proof. To avoid the cycles being stolen, they will be rented out only after verification of the user. The authorities have planned to build a strong network of cycle that would have 100 cycle stations in Indore.

If things go according to the plans of AICTSL, Indore might become the first cycle friendly city of the country, with the facility to go in any part of the city pedalling. While the roads of Indore have been struggling to cope up with the increasing traffic and the pollution level rising, this system can come as a relief to the city residents. “We are trying to create an advanced public bicycle system that can prompt people to come out of their cars and try this mode of transportation.

This is not only eco-friendly but also good for health. We want to create a network of cycle that is accessible from every part of the city,” said Jaideep KP, CEO, i-Bike. He felt that cycles have often been treated as a vehicle for the poor and his team, with the cooperation of AICTSL, wants to change this perception. He said they have rolled out expensive, advanced and comfortable cycles that everybody, irrespective of class, would want to use for everyday activities like going to office.

For the first time in India, people can take trial rides of the advanced pedal assist cycles in Indore. Pedal-assist or Pedelec, as the name suggests, is a cycle that has both pedals and an electric motor to assist the riders, especially on a difficult terrain. The cycle comes with a Lithium-ion battery and runs for 40 kilometres after charging for one hour.

The officials of i-Bike said that they have proposed a membership fee of Rs 1,200 for pedal assist bi-cycles and the riders will be charged 95 paise per kilometre. However, Sandeep Soni, CEO of AICTSL, said they have not taken any decision on the rates. “Some cycles have been brought for trials. We are giving free trials to the people, any decision will be taken only after considering the suggestions from the people,” he clarified.

AICTSL had started the scheme of renting cycles in November last year but the plan failed to kick start due to technical snags and poor response from the public. Learning from the past failure, AICTSL has initiated an easier process for registration. Commuters can now register themselves by filling an online or offline form. They will be given a user ID and password for a hassle free access to cycles from different kiosks.

Process of registration

Fill the online or offline form

Submit a self-attested copy of Aadhar card

Pay the amount

You will be given a unique ID-password
Use your ID password at kiosks to ride i-Bike

Usage for first 15 minutes is free

Specifications of pedal-assist cycles:
Light weight cycles

Cycles fitted with electric motor

Can run up to 40 km once fully charged

Puncture resistant tyres.
Unisex design — fit for men and women

 

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