As the country’s capital continues to breathe heavily polluted air and players playing around in masks, its time that we think of more environment friendly means of commute. This is the thought that has got cab-hailing firm Ola to announced that it is piloting bicycle rides with an aim to help curb the menace – Ola Pedal.

Ola as well as a few other startups are preparing to roll out bicycle-rental services in the country, amid recent overseas flops and the high risk of theft that have raised questions about the sustainability of the business. Ola is  currently testing a bicycle-rental service called Ola Pedal at the IIT-Kanpur campus. Ola’s bike offering comes just weeks after one of the largest companies in car rentals ZoomCar has started a cycle sharing platform in South India, last month.

As the name suggests, Ola Pedal is a bicycle sharing service and will come in handy for short journeys allowing users to complete the final leg of their journey within the large college and office campuses. Ola Pedal will enable users to book bicycles that will be made available at various docking stations nearby large campuses across the cities in India. Once booked, riders can unlock their corresponding bicycles (as per the codes shared on the app) with their fingerprints.

In a statement released to the press, Ola confirmed,

“We are piloting Ola Pedal in various (college) campuses, to begin with. Bicycles are a sustainable and efficient alternative for covering first and last mile mobility needs in our cities. With superior technology and available to book on the same Ola app, used by millions of Indians on a daily basis, Ola Pedal will go a long way in solving larger issues like pollution and congestion in our cities, especially for short distance trips,”

They further added,

“We are seeing massive interest in Ola Pedal from campuses and cities across the country and we are working on expanding the scope of this offering in the weeks ahead,”

Having already launched at the IIT Kanpur campus on a pilot basis, where 600 Ola bicycles were made available at various docking stations surround the 1000-acre campus, Ola aims to launch similar services at other large campuses be it business parks, institutions or other public areas. If the pilot, which began in the first week of November, is successful, Ola will likely introduce more sophisticated versions of the service in the coming months across cities, said a person familiar with Ola’s plans.

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Shivani Pandita

Shivani is an avid reader and loves to pen down her thoughts on paper in the most creative ways. She is more on the eccentric side, but it is this obscurity and uniqueness that makes her stand out. She has a passion for photography, travel and music. She strikes a thorough balance between intelligence and creativity and has a solution oriented approach to any problem at hand.

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