Chennai, Feb 28: Despite Vogo’s newest introduction of e-scooters at some Chennai Metro stations, bicycles continue to be rented with no constraint on the number of their users. Chennai Metro has been providing free bicycles on rent to its commuters for the past two years. The only catch is that people renting the cycle must deposit a Rs. 3000 security deposit and an ID proof while renting the cycle. Once it is returned to the Metro station, the entire amount is refunded to the commuter. The bicycles were introduced to encourage cycling as well as an eco-friendly mode of transport.
A private company called Vogo Automotive Pvt. Ltd. has started providing e-scooters at certain Metro stations in Chennai. The charges of the scooters are Rs 4 per km travelled. Vogo is provides similar services in Hyderabad and Bangalore as well. The scooters are also fitted with a GPS tracking system to avoid theft.
There are commuters using both these services but neither affects the other. Sundarajan (35) who is the station controller at Anna Nagar Tower Metro station stated that his station has been and continues to be visited by a minimum of five people daily for renting the bicycles. “On weekdays working people rent the cycles, on weekends they are joined by students as well as elderly people”, he said.
On the other hand, there are some Metro stations that still await the arrival of the e-scooters. Naveen (28) is the parking operator at the Alandur Metro station. “Some company personnel came and saw the space where they will keep their scooters but they never came. I called and asked them but they keep saying that they will come in a few days”, he said.
Vijay (32), the station controller at Guindy Metro station stated that around 10-15 people used to rent the bicycle and they still continue to do so even after the introduction of the e-scooters. Nevertheless this does not mean that the e-scooters are starved for attention. They are also being used frequently ever since their introduction. Shambu Maheswari (37) manages the e-scooters at the Anna Nagar Tower Metro station. He says that so far, there are at least 4-6 people renting the scooters on a daily basis. In other places, the numbers are even higher. Mohan (34) is one of the new recruits at Vogo who is in charge of the e-scooters at the Guindy Metro station. He says that everyday at least 15-20 people rent a scooter from this station.
While the scooters have received a positive response, their usage appears to have no effect on cycle users. Although the bonus for the cycles is that they are rented by the type of people eager to cycle on a regular basis.