In an attempt to promote cycling as a viable personal transportation mode within the city limits, Smart Bike has introduced a long-term rental plan for residents in Chennai. Under the new plan, users can opt to rent a bicycle for longer durations of upto a month at a fixed rental fee.
According to reports, Smart Bike which already runs a bicycle rental service in Chennai under which users are expected to dock the cycles back at designated stations across the city after using them, will make these schemes available from October 10. The users can access it through the Smart Bike mobile app. The decision to introduce these schemes are understood to have stemmed from the apprehension among the users around the safety of using the cycles amid COVID-19 pandemic. When asked about the reason for launching the long-term rental scheme, Dharmin Dontamsetti, co-founder and managing director, SmartBike Mobility said, ‚ÄúCycling is one of the safest modes of transport in terms of maintaining adequate physical distancing in these times. Hence it makes sense to make it accessible to people living anywhere in the city by introducing long-term rental schemes.‚ÄĚ
As per the announcement, Smart Bike cycles can be rented for a week by paying Rs 299. The charges for two weeks‚Äô rental is Rs 599 and the rental for a month per cycle is Rs 999. The Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) will also be soon adding around 500 electric bicycles in its fleet, which can move faster than normal bicycles. It will also be adding around 500 mid-generation bikes to the already existing fleet of 500 Smart Bikes.
Meanwhile, the GCC will conduct a ‚ÄėHandlebar Survey‚Äô on Saturday, which is open to public participation. The concept of ‚ÄėHandlebar Survey‚Äô is to understand the condition of the roads from a cyclist‚Äôs perspective and will be done by a group of cyclists who will travel from Little Mount Metro to the Corporation Park in MRC Nagar, RA Puram. With the same starting and ending points, the Chennai Smart City officials have identified three routes, on which cyclists will travel and report about the friendliness of the route and the general condition of the roads for those using bicycles to commute.