Self-drive car rental company Zoomcar has launched PEDL, a cycle rental service in the country,  starting with Bangalore, Chennai and Kolkata. The new service will primarily serve last mile commuting purposes like  grocery shopping or errand running etc.

The company had started PEDL’s pilot a few weeks ago, and already operates some 500 cycles in these three cities. Zoomcar expects to cross 10,000 cycles on road in 2017 with much larger expansion plans to follow in 2018.  Greg Moran, CEO & Co-founder, Zoomcar said that the company is also speaking to various governmental bodies to craft policies and design urban infrastructure propagate dockless cycle sharing across the country.

How does it work

A user can get a cycle on rent by walking up to a PEDL location, and pay via Paytm (looks like it does not offer cash payment), and drop the cycle at any of the PEDL locations. The company said in a statement that, cycles will be available in every 50-100 meters in a city. The rent for cycle is Rs 10 per half an hour.

Zoomcar is tying up with a number of partners, like retail stores and other small businesses in these cities to manage cycles rentals.

Under its PEDL service, Zoomcar is also introducing an option of ‘host’, under which individuals or businesses can allow company to park or place cycles at their premises. For offering a physical space for cycles, these host will get discounts and freebies from Zoomcar, or their benefit partners such as Paytm, Mcdonalds, Yatra, Goibibo and Quirk as of now.

Zoomcar claims that the cycles are IoT-enables and have smart locks which can be unlocked using a QR Code. The bikes also comes with GPS tracker, solar battery charging, and built-in alarms.

Bicylces are old, but focus is new

While bicycles are one of the most common mode of transportation for Indians, the startups are looking at capitalise on the mode in newer ways. China’s bicycle sharing Alibaba Group-backed Ofo is looking to setup its shop in India in 2018. There are some players which are already offering cycle renting or  sharing services in the country, like Rentomo,RentOnGo,Wicked Ride.

Interestingly,  Chandigarh-headquartered hyperlocal delivery startup and auto rickshaw aggregator Jugnoo has announced addition of bicycles in its delivery vertical at the same time. Currently, 50 bicycles are in the system that are doing deliveries in 3 cities- Chandigarh, Noida, and Gurgaon.