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Pune Infra Watch: E-bike rental service pilot soon, 5,000 vehicles across 250 sites

The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has finally approved the implementation of the electric bike rental service in the city on a pilot basis for one year.

“The proposal to implement an e-bike rental project through a private agency has been approved in the standing committee. In the first phase, e-bikes will be available for rent at 250 locations across the city where there would be charging stations too. The agency had sought 500 locations but the PMC did completely accept that demand. The service should start in the city soon,” said municipal commissioner Vikram Kumar.

In the pilot phase, around 5,000 e-bikes will be available which the citizens can avail on rent at a rate of Rs 4 per kilometre.

The PMC will provide its land on lease for setting up charging-cum-swapping stations and parking places as identified by the civic administration itself while the private agency will have to set up all necessary infrastructure and ensure safety measures. The PMC will get 2 per cent of the private agency’s profit for providing the land on lease.

The payment from citizens will be collected digitally through a software application or smartcard. The civic body and the private agency are yet to work out a formula for the sharing of revenue from bike rent, parking and advertising at charging stations.

The private agency has to provide only authorised e-bikes and carry out their maintenance on a regular basis. It has to ensure that 90 per cent of the charging stations are operational at any given time.

The PMC had invited private agencies to implement the project for a minimum of 30 years by setting up over 500 charging cum swapping stations and over 200 docking stations for parking.

According to some, Pune has the highest number of two-wheelers in the country and they contribute a lot to air pollution. With the e-bike rental project, the PMC plans to promote the use of electric vehicles and reduce air pollution.

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