Commuting within the 400-acre Indian Institute of Science (IISc) campus in Bengaluru can now be eco-friendly even if you are not riding a bicycle or are not on foot. The university, starting from Saturday, will start an e-rickshaw service called ‘Pick-E-Rick’ on five routes with 10 vehicles.
The distances of these routes will vary between little less than 2 km to 3.3 km and the service will be available from Monday to Saturday from 8 am to 7.30 pm, at a flat fare of Rs 5. However, the fares have to be paid only by e-wallets or through UPI.
“It is a really good initiative. Travelling from one end to the other end of the campus is an issue. Depending on cycles all the time is tiring. This service will definitely help us,” a PhD student, Varsha Vasudevan told The Hindu.
A staff working at the university said, “This is a very cheap mode of transport. The routes link major buildings, departments, hostels and the library.”
The service will be run by Transvahan Technologies India Pvt. Ltd on an ‘Own, Operate and Maintain’ basis. The service will not only cater to 8,000 students and staff but hundreds of visitors.
In February, the institute had made new applicants sign an undertaking stating that they won’t use motor vehicles within the campus in a bid to keep its campus pollution free.
“Ours is the only large area with a green cover on this side of the city. We wouldn’t like to lose it. With students’ cooperation, vehicle usage could almost completely be eliminated and used only during an emergency,” an IISc administrator had told Deccan Herald.
A trial run of the e-rickshaws was done during the IISc Open Day in 2018 in March and an initial decision was taken to introduce three of these 10 autos.