Elliot Johnston June 4 2017
India’s first bike sharing scheme launched this weekend in the southern city of Mysuru.
The bikes, of which 450 will be available to the city’s 1.2 million inhabitants, will be hirable from 48 docking stations across the city.
The scheme, which is being run by bike sharing company Trin Trin, was launched with a fair amount of fanfare in the city of Mysuru which is already known as India’s cleanest city.
Alongside the physical launch, an app has been released and several videos have been published detailing how the system works.
Registered users will be able to access the bikes with an NFC-capable card. Registration costs 350 rupees, which is just over £4, and includes a refundable deposit for the activation cards.
While this is a first for India, and arguably a progressive step, the launch hasn’t been met with universal positivity.
The Chief Minister of the south Indian state of Karnataka, in which Mysuru sits, questioned the quality of the bicycles provided as part of the sharing scheme.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah allegedly urged the Directorate of Urban Land Transport, which is implementing the project, to replace the bicycles with ones that are more comfortable.
He claimed that the bicycles were only suitable for users below the age of 30.
Given Siddaramaiah’s comments, there are question marks over the long-term future of the Mysuru bike sharing scheme.