Bengaluru: Startups chip in for last-mile connectivity

Four companies will provide motorised 2-wheelers and battery operated cycles for the whole of Phase-1

BENGALURU: Namma Metro has now officially become the only metro service in the country to offer motorised and non-motorised last mile connectivity services at all the 40 stations.

This month, four start-ups bagged the contract to provide motorised two-wheelers like scooters, bikes and battery operated cycles for the whole of Phase-1.

"BMRCL has multiple choices for the first and last mile, with auto stands already managed by BTP and BMTC feeder route services at terminal and major stations. Recently, Wicked Ride won the contract for 32 locations, Green Wheel Ride and ValetEZ got three each and Enfrien got one," said Vasanth Rao, Chief Public Relations Officer.

Rao said at first there was not much enthusiasm for the contract, but subsequently the popularity grew.

“For instance, a start-up Wicked Ride succeeded at Baiyappanahalli station, where commuters would rent bikes to tech parks in Whitefield. Subsequent bidding found every single station taken over by some mobility service that had smart phone applications, Google earth and gave freedom to drop off the bike at various points," Rao added.

The four startups have been provided space at all station premises to park their bikes and cycles.

This is in addition to four other startups, namely Quick Ride, Metro Bikes, Tap Route and Constapark that won the Rs 40 lakh grant from World Resources Institute (WRI) and Toyota Mobility Foundation, to provide similar services in July this year. The pilot that began in December 2016 has been successful, said Pawan Mulukutla, Head of Integrated Transport, WRI.

"The companies have been able to monetize on it after the initial funding, visibility, push and collaboration with the government from our side. They will remain a permanent feature of Namma Metro now," Mulukutla announced.

Dr K.N.M. Rao from Quick Ride said, "The response has been good for our carpooling services, especially at Baiyappanahalli and S.V. Road stations as they are near Tech Parks.""This service is the only solution that does not add another vehicle onto the road, like cabs, autos or other rentals. It just facilitates car pooling with existing vehicles on the road, dropping the commuter at their doorstep in an eco-friendly way," Rao added.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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