Bike rental firm pays for customers’ traffic violations

The company ends up paying more due to avoidable offences. DH file photo

Bounce, a company that rents bikes providing the most sought-after last-mile connectivity, is not spared from the unruly elements that break traffic rules. 

Earlier known as Metro Bikes, the start-up rents bikes at 32 metro stations which have been embraced by commuters. For those who travel by Namma Metro, the company rents bikes at Rs 6.50 per km, fulfilling the immediate transport requirement at an affordable fare and that too where one can go to the interior areas.

However, the congestion and lack of parking spaces mean some of the bikes end up being seized by the traffic police.

“We clock an average of about 10,000 rides every day. The number of offences is minimal. On average, we have 10 people violating traffic rules, and most of them are parking offences, where the police take away the vehicle,” said Vivekananda Hallekere, the co-founder of Bounce.

In such cases, Hallekere said, the company has the additional responsibility of collecting the bike from the police by paying the fine.

“The penalty is transferred to the customers, and the amount is added to their digital wallet. However, collecting the bike itself adds additional work,” he said.

“We have deployed 30 bikes that are rented away by 11 am. Though most of the customers bring them back, there is usually a shortage by the time it is afternoon,” said a staffer at the MG Road Metro Station.

Shivanand P, an insurance agent, said even though he owns a bike, he prefers to travel by the Metro and rent bikes to go around houses to collect insurance premium.

“I plan my trip to ensure conveniences. In the afternoons, the rush in trains is usually less, and there are some Metro stations where the Metro Bikes are available all time,” he said.

Avoidable offences

He said those who rent bike end up paying more due to offences that are avoidable.

“Some customers violate traffic rules by jumping signals. But the BBMP and police have failed to provide parking space in core areas like Koramangala and Shanthinagar, where most of the parking offences happen,” Shivanand said. 

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