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Coronavirus: Bike rental platforms offer long-term plans, home delivery of sanitised vehicles

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New Delhi, May 21: From long-term rentals to home delivering sanitised bikes, bike rental platforms like Bounce and Vogo are undertaking a slew of measures to woo customers as they re-commence operations after weeks of lockdown.

Coronavirus: Bike rental platforms offer long-term plans, home delivery of sanitised vehicles

Bounce, which offers dockless scooters in Bengaluru and Hyderabad, is offering rental plans of 7, 14, 30 and 60 days that will allow users to keep the vehicle with them for a longer duration.

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"...(we) spent a few weeks brainstorming for a solution. We wanted all our users to feel safe and secure when they step out of their homes...We realised that if users could keep their scooters with them for long periods, they would not only feel safer but also secure about having immediate access to the outside world whenever they wanted," Bounce said in a blog post.

It added that the rental packs will give users the convenience of owning their own scooter without bearing the exorbitant costs of purchasing their own vehicle. Also, the scooters are rigorously scrubbed down, disinfected, and sanitised before they reach users, it emphasised.

Ola-backed Vogo has also increased the rental duration for two-wheelers on its platform and is sanitising its vehicles with anti-microbial solutions before handing over the bikes to users. The Bengaluru-based company said it is distributing sanitisation kits to their customers which includes hand sanitiser, gloves and solutions and cleaning cloth for the bike.

"Not only people's interest in renting two-wheelers has gone up, but the renewal of subscriptions for longer periods has also seen a surge. In just seven days, 50 per cent of our customers have booked for renewal and 30 per cent of them have ordered for delivery to home," Vogo Chief Executive Officer Anand Ayyadurai said. The lockdown, which started on March 25, had restricted movement of people, impacting the business of these platforms. Restrictions were eased in the third and fourth phase of lockdown and ride-sharing platforms are trying to get customers back on their platforms.

According to industry watchers, a key concern for the shared mobility players in the country is getting customers to use their services as people continue to stay indoors amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Many commuters are using their own vehicles as well. Players are hopeful of demand picking up as more offices open and people resume work.

Rapido, which offers bike taxi services in close to 100 cities, said it has resumed services in over 35 cities in green and orange zones as the services cannot be extended to the containment zones as per the lockdown guidelines.

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"Resuming these operations will bring relief to around 3 lakh Captains (driver-partners) that are solely dependent on the bike taxi service for their daily income and livelihood," the company said. Rapido added that it is providing sanitisers and masks to all the driver-partners, while customers will be provided with mandatory sanitised half helmets as opposed to full-face helmets before every ride.

The company, which has resumed operations in cities like Amritsar, Kolkata, Madurai, Karnal and Rourkela, said it is showing containment areas in its app and making sure that its captains and customers don't pass by those areas.

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