Bikes have had a long history in certain areas of the world. Cities in China and Japan are known for using bikes as the only mode of transport which isn’t restricted by timing. They provide a cheap alternative to having a car, and also offer various health benefits. This is all without mentioning the environmental benefits that bikes have. They’ve have become especially important in the wake of the recent global pandemic.
The coronavirus pandemic has left both public and private transport out the doors, with several services taking huge losses thanks to the lack of people on the road. However, the lockdown has also given people various alternatives, the most important of which seems to be the bike. They come in either the conventional mode or the electric variant, and people in cities such as Delhi and Bangalore are flocking to the bike rental services in order to get a bike subscription. Here, we look at a few reasons why this seems to be a better alternative.
The style of commuting has changed
Pre-pandemic, the professionals in various industries preferred booking taxis online with various apps. Due to the recent lifestyle change thanks to the pandemic, people now look forward to social distancing. Moreover, people have opted for safer and healthier choices after the nationwide lockdowns were lifted. Weekend getaways and commute to and from work seem to have ordered for electric bike rentals as the preferred method of transportation.
Social distancing is the need of the hour
Public transport and other modes of transport such as app-based taxi services have seen a steep decline in demand thanks to the pandemic. People are now more willing to either use their own cars or go for bike rentals as they allow them to have the required two metres space between themselves and anybody else. Public transport, especially, is definitely unable to manage this task at the very beginning, considering the large number of people who commute through them every day. Sanitization at regular intervals is difficult to manage on such a large scale, and the chance of infection runs rather high. Online bike rentals may have found a sweet spot in this situation.
The environment needs a break
Conventional vehicle numbers in the country have grown so large that the major cities in India are among the top in the world for pollution rankings. Electric cars are still very expensive and most people will not be able to afford them at this time. This is where bike lease and electric bike rentals can come into play. Electric bikes, especially, have seen a sharp rise in the recent months thanks to their pricing options and low impact on the environment, which deserves a much-needed break after years of choking thanks to poisonous gases emitted by industries and automobiles.
It offers a new way towards a different startup economy
The bike rental space had never seen this much demand in the pre-covid times, as this was something that most people would do for pleasure. They’d rent a bike and go riding out on dates or outings with friends. However, in the post-lockdown era, the bike subscription schemes have rapidly grown as a new lifestyle has come forward. People are opting for healthier choices, and cheaper ones too. The bike rental market seems to be one of the best alternatives as we move into an era where everything has either already changed, or is bound to. Therefore, more and more startups will come to the market which will provide competitive rates to the economy, thereby boosting it. This boost is a much-needed one after the drastic changes that have taken place during the peak of the pandemic.
Sanitization is key
The first idea about these bike rentals is that the human interaction is low. At the most, only one person can operate the bike at any time. Moreover, the bike rental services charge at an hourly duration. Every time a bike is returned, it is then sanitized thoroughly before being allowed to get back on the road again. With such stringent measures, the chances of infection remain quite low.
It’s not all easy, though, as most of these online bike rental services have stopped providing helmets with the bikes. They expect the customers to exercise caution and responsibility, and to bring their own helmets. Presumably, the helmets rented out with every bike does come into contact with different people.
This makes it much more difficult to sanitize and clean the helmet, and to have it ready when the time comes for its next usage. In addition to this, the sudden surge in the need for bike leases means that there can be a shortage of these bikes. Various bike rental services are now calling for more bikes to be added to their fleet.
The good thing to remember here is that this does pose major changes for the startup economy, adding a much-needed boost post-pandemic, and also helps the earth to recover from all the rampant damage it has had to endure in the past years.
It’s safe to say that bike subscription services such as GoZapX will continue to move forward in a world which now sees itself differently. It is time to rethink how we look at the startup and transportation economy.