Get on the bike

Alisha Shinde
Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Green and yellow bicycles are adding colour to the streets of Pune and of course, making people healthier and happier, and above all, making the environment green. That was the whole idea behind launching the smart, affordable and environment-friendly cycle sharing service and it has taken off successfully

The technology-enabled cycle sharing service PEDL has picked up well in the city. We catch up with a few users to know about their experiences and how this initiative should be supported   

Green and yellow bicycles are adding colour to the streets of Pune and of course, making people healthier and happier, and above all, making the environment green. That was the whole idea behind launching the smart, affordable and environment-friendly cycle sharing service and it has taken off successfully.

Visit Aundh-Baner or Savitribai Phule Pune University anytime of the day and you will find scores of bikers going shopping, running errands, commuting to the university or any other place, cycling for fitness or just enjoying a joy ride. Pune Municipal Corporation and Pune Smart City Development Corporation Limited (PSCDCL), in association with Zoomcar’s PEDL, started the app-based cycle sharing service. The multiple pickup and drop-off points make the cycles easily accessible. Users need to pick up a cycle from a location, pay via Paytm, and drop it off after completing the ride at any one of the locations.     

We chat up a few users to know more about the service and their experiences, and how they are doing their bit for the environment and contributing to the green cause.

‘I am totally sold on this great initiative’

Hailing from Sangli and studying in Pune, Aniket Malvade recently used the Zoomcar app and he was very impressed. “I was super excited to ride the bright green cycle and after a long wait of several days, I finally got my chance,” says Malvade about his experience of using the PEDL cycle and adds, “All I had to do is scan the QR code and hit Unlock Cycle, and Voila!” He is awestruck with what technology can do nowadays — unlock a cycle without even touching it.

Having ridden for an hour, he realised that he was a riding a bicycle after several years that too for one rupee for half an hour, “You just cannot get a better deal than this,” he says.

Considering the current traffic and air pollution problems of Pune city, he says, “It is one of the most urgent needs that people turn towards eco-friendly options to  commute.”  He believes that as responsible citizens of the country everyone should start playing their individual roles and contribute to the greater good.

“I am totally sold on this great initiative and I believe I have taken my step towards an eco-friendly environment. When are you taking yours?” asks the youngster.  

‘Hope PEDL brings us a bright future’

A student of Bharati Vidyapeeth Pune, Nemish Lakhewar came to know about PEDL initiative from his friend and ever since he wanted to avail the service. He says that the green initiative should be supported by every individual and such activities and initiatives should be held in every college campus so that the idea gets the attention it deserves.

He believes that this will bring about a massive change to the environment. “I genuinely hope PEDL brings us a bright future, so let’s make it happen!” says Lakhewar.

‘It is probably the cheapest gym ever!’

A Pune University student, Uday Bhoite says PEDL is not only great for the environment but also beneficial for the riders, “It is probably the cheapest gym ever!” he exclaims.

He believes that the initiative is not only a fun activity that any person can be a part of, but is also an amazing way of giving back to the environment and protecting it from further damage. “Pollution in a city like Pune is ever increasing and this is one of the few sustainable ways of reducing it,” he says.  

He mentions that his college department now has an initiative called, ‘Sole to Soul’, a cycle relay that they organise on every first and third Saturday of the month to promote the use of cycles.

Ever since the cycle stations were set up at the University campus, Bhoite explains how he has been using his motorbike less often and saving a lot on his petrol allowance.

“What is better than saving money, getting fit and breathing clean air?” shares the thrilled youngster.

‘Cycles are in great condition’

An entrepreneur, Shivani Pethe was aware of the buzz around PEDL, so she, along with her friends, decided to give it a try. “I was shocked to see the cycle stations and  cycles in such great condition,” she says adding that the app is extremely user-friendly.

She believes that Pune really needed something like this to cope with the rising levels of pollution and traffic snarls. With such initiatives the day is not far when Pune will be a green paradise again.

Pethe mentions that she took the cycle from the University campus all the way to Goodluck Cafe Chowk and back, and all the people she came across wanted to know more about the initiative. She believes that with a little bit of awareness and support from Punekars this initiative will work. “We can not only save on fuel and money but also enjoy a bicycle ride on the streets of Pune,” she says.

‘I would love to see more cycles all across Pune’
Commuting to the University was a daily struggle for Sheena Agarwal because bus service is not so prompt and efficient. “We all know about the public transport scenario in Pune,” she says adding that she is glad that an initiative like PEDL was introduced in her neighbourhood. “Now instead of waiting for the bus,  I just hop on a cycle and ride all the way from Aundh to the University,” she says.

Agarwal believes that cycling will make her healthier and  save the environment. She adds that even though travelling time is still the same for her, she is spending just a fraction of what she was spending earlier on transport.
With the overall experience being good, Agarwal adds that though the cycles are in a good condition, they are not designed for uphill roads which makes the ride a bit uncomfortable. “That said, I would love to see more of these cycles all across Pune,” says Agarwal.

Use, don’t abuse

‘Treat the initiative with respect’
“The quality of the cycles is good and they are extremely efficient,” says Amrut Tambe, who is pursing his Masters, adding that the cycles feel light but are sturdy and comfortable. Since the ofo bike sharing service is free for now, Tambe points out that a few people are already misusing the bicycles by hoarding them unnecessarily which is one of the main reasons that there is a shortage of the bikes. “If people can behave in a more mature manner, the service can work out well,” he adds. He strongly believes that there is a need to educate people so that they can behave responsibly and treat this initiative with respect.
‘Make it a real green, clean city’  

“With rising pollution levels and increasing traffic jams, I suffer from headache and breathlessness almost on a daily basis,” says Tukaram Jadhav. He adds that Pune is a green and clean city only on paper. “With the bicycle sharing initiative some improvement is expected,” he says adding that the initiative should be made available to all Punekars. This will amplify the benefits and make Pune a real green and clean city. Jadhav believes that it is high time Punekars took such initiatives seriously and worked together for saving the environment.

‘People should not misuse the service’
Earlier, Nagesh Bodake found it very difficult to make time for fitness. But now with the bike sharing service he is not only reaching class on time but is also exercising along the way. “All I have to do is unlock the cycle and cycle all the way to my destination,” he says adding that people should not misuse the service.  


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