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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Namma cycle- cycle rental initiative in Bengaluru

Cycle usage in Indian cities is not taken in right spirit. If you ride into office in a cycle, chances are that security guard will ask you "Are you not paid enough to buy a motorcyle?". Some star hotels won't even allow cyclists inside the campus- Leela Bangalore was an example-guess they changed their mind after public outcry online. Many people never consider having a cycle, which can be used for quick rides in the neighborhood without having to take out their cars and bikes.

Besides all these, good thing is that Bengaluru city is seeing lots of initiatives to promote use of cycle. Lalbagh got a dedicated cycle stand recently. Tour of Nilgiris starts out of Blr every year and now, a cycle rental initiative, called Namma cycle is operational in the garden city of Bangalore.

Happened to meet Murali H R, the individual behind Namma Cycle- a cycle rental initiative in Bengaluru. Currently it is operational inside IISc. They plan to extend this facility to other campuses in Bengaluru soon.

Above: Namma cycle logo/baner
Below: Murali and Deepak
Namma cycle has about 5 stations inside IISc campus, each manned by a person during specific timings of the day. A user willing to rent a cycle walks to these stations, rents a cycle, returns it at any other station after usage. First 30 mins of usage is free for any pre-registered customer paying a monthly fee (Rs 100) and a nominal fee (Rs 5 for 30 mins) payable for subsequent usage.

During childhood, we used to rent cycles from cycle shops in our village. No registration, no paperwork- I had to tell whose son I am and that would form the guarantee and I could ride out in a cycle. Rent was Rs 1 per hour, some 20 years ago.

Below are the registration process and location map, for Namma cycle initiative.
The initiative is supported by IISc and is gaining popularity among students and visitors. Team is planning to add more cycles to the fleet. 

Above: Cycles in operation- branded yellow
Below: New fleet of cycles- to be added soon


I see some limitations in the current model- though there's fair amount of automation- registration/tracking etc, collecting the cycle and returning it is a manual process, which means someone has to be there physically at the counter to give and take cycle. This adds to cost and limits the hours of operation. Some way of automating this can help keep the counter open all the time and increase utilization. However, in country like India, such automation brings more complications. (dealing with damages, system failures etc) I am sure the team will factor this.

Visit their website for more details.
http://www.nammacycle.in/

Ironically in Bangalore, renting a car is now far reasier than renting a cycle. Hope Namma cycle team would change all that. I wish the team all the success in future.

Related: Tour of Nilgiris *  ICICI Bank cycle banking * Commuting to work by cycle-pros and cons * 

5 comments :

magiceye said...

Wonderful initiative! Hope it becomes a roaring success!

M.D.subramanya Machikoppa said...

ಒಂದು ರುಪಾಯಿಗೆ ಒಂದು ಘಂಟೆ ಕಾಲ ಜ್ಞಾಪಕಕ್ಕೆ ಬಂತು!!!

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Deepak: Thanks

SDM: :)

Indrani said...

That is a great initiative.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Indrani