Mumbai: Demand to expand e-bike services to other biz places in city grows

After receiving favorable response in Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC), the public electric-bike (e-bike) service is grabbing attention of the citizens and local politicians who are now demanding to expand service to other commercial places in Mumbai also. One such demand has been made by an Andheri-based local leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Shekhar Tawade, for the SEEPZ, MIDC office goers.

Tawade told the Free Press Journal, "Thousands of offices located here, where over a lakh people work. They commute daily by trains, BEST bus, auto rickshaw and taxi. Introducing the e-bike will act as one more alternate for them. Moreover, it is cheaper and an eco-friendly commuting option and also makes travelling easy during congestion."

At present, the public e-bike service at Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) is being operated by a private operator, Yulu. With existing 400 e-bikes at BKC having 18-19 zones, the operator has successfully completed 30,871 trips in January and added 10,662 new users to its service.

Interestingly, the number of trips and new users has been increasing substantially like in September 2020 only 6,547 total trips were made and 2,375 new users were added, which now increased by manifolds as per the data obtained from Yulu. From September till January, a total of 47,251 kg of carbon emission was saved, the data further indicates.

A Yulu Spokesperson said, "We will strengthen our partnership with the existing authorities in Mumbai along with corporates and citizens and towards the end of this year we will deploy at least 10,000 e-bikes in Mumbai alone."

According to Yulu, BKC will be made more accessible in the coming days and they are working on increasing more zones so that it can be used largely by the public. As per plan, 2,000-3,000 additional vehicles are required to serve about 15,000 commuters in a day considering the rush of commuters in BKC. Moreover, the service will be eventually extended to other pockets of Mumbai. However, more vehicles also require a place for parking. And since Mumbai has space crunch issues, innovative ideas for parking/docking of vehicles is required, which need to be taken care of.

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