Renting a bike is a smart way to move around in the city. You can pick up the bike from a bus/metro station, get your work done and return it. Unfortunately, that is not how the script plays out in some cases. Careless riders and a few glitches are leading to unforeseen problems such as riders abandoning bikes beside roads, traffic violations and parking on footpaths. Bounce, which provides bikes on rental in the city, is grappling with these issues.
Santosh Kumar R, a resident of Jayamahal, says he rented a scooter but the fuel got exhausted after just 2 km. “As the petrol bunk was one kilometer away and since I cannot push the scooter, I left it on the roadside and took an auto to reach my destination. The company should monitor the fuel issue,” says Santosh. According to Hebbal traffic police, rented bike users just abandon bikes on the road to KIA. “Users also jump signals. We book them and send notices. This is carelessness. Since the scooter does not belong to them, they leave these vehicles in the middle of the road, creating a problem for other users,” say police officials.
Vivekananda H R, CEO and co-founder, Bounce, admits the problem but says users abandoning vehicles constitute a small number. Vivekananda says the company is in “talks with oil companies” to address the issue. “Once it is finalised, users can just take the scooters to petrol pumps and fill the fuel without paying as the bill would be sent to the company,” he says. At present, if a user fills fuel for Rs 100, the company pays them Rs 30 extra. Apart from that, Vivekananda also says that they are coordinating with traffic police to curb traffic violations.
“After getting the challan for traffic violation, we penalise the users on their next ride. To avail our service, we ask for driving licences and also have information about their residences. If the user is a repeat offender, we block them from using our service,” he says. The company is charging Rs 5 per km and Rs 50 paise per minute. With 4,000 vehicles, Bounce on average sees 30,000 rides and 2 lakh km per day.