Home >Companies >Start-ups >Bike-sharing firms reopen services as lockdown curbs eased

BENGALURU: Scooter sharing startups Bounce and Vogo have resumed operations in a staggered manner in many cities, having suspended services for nearly 2 months due to a nationwide lockdown and curbs on public transport.

Vogo said it is currently operating in Bengaluru and has opened 50 docking stations in the city. Vogo operates on a docked model where users locate the nearest parking stations using an app. Its users can pick up and drop scooters only between these stations.

Likewise, Bounce which operates on a dock-less model—where users can pick and drop scooters anywhere within city limits—restarted operations in Bengaluru and Hyderabad on Tuesday.

Mint had reported that Bounce and Vogo expect higher demand from users with easing of lockdown curbs as shared cabs have not been allowed yet.

Bike sharing firms are also offering longer rental options and new pricing models for users.

Vogo will increase the maximum rental duration of two-wheelers to 30 days compared with daily packages offered earlier. The startup said it will sanitise all its vehicles with anti-microbial solutions before handing over the bikes to users.

"Keeping in mind the new guidelines and parameters issued by the government, safety has become one of primary requirements for daily commuters across the world…people’s interest in renting two-wheelers has gone up, but renewal of subscriptions for longer periods has also seen a surge. In just seven days, 50% of our customers have booked for renewal and 30% of them have ordered for delivery to home," said Anand Ayyadurai, chief execuitve, Vogo.

Bounce which earlier depended heavily on the dockless scooter sharing model has introduced long-term rental and a subscription option, called Bounce-A (Atmanirbhar) this week. Currently, Bounce has rolled out a few hundred vehicles and plans to introduce more scooters on the street in batches.

“Within a week of resuming operations, we have done an average of 5,000 daily rides. As the lockdown gradually lifts and economies open up, we will see an uptake in self-driven shared mobility solutions," Bounce said in a response to Mint’s queries.

India has been relaxing curbs while it entered the fourth phase of lockdown, scheduled to end 31 May. Public transport, including buses, trains, metros, and domestic flights, which were suspended on 25 March, are gradually being allowed to resume services.

On 4 May, the government had said states can oversee the opening of public transport services including buses, taxis, and private vehicles in compliance with guidelines.

The Karnataka government said on Monday only 30 passengers will allowed at a time on a bus while taxis, auto, and cabs can a carry maximum of two passengers. It has ruled out usage of shared cabs as of now.

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