Two-wheeler rental startups expect to ride high as public transport comes to a halt
Self-drive scooter businesses like Bounce, Vogo, and Yulu expect to see an uptick in adoption, with public transportation utilization capped at less than 50% due to social distancing norms and disposable incomes taking a hit owing to salary cuts and lower earnings, these firms tell ET.

The nationwide lockdown has forced state governments to significantly cut public transportation services, restricting commute options for healthcare workers, civic authorities, and delivery executives.

Shared two-wheelers are more efficient and provide low-cost rider-friendly alternative to public transport. “With the movement of people being staggered out, self-drive shared scooters can help drive down the prices through economies of scale and pass on the benefits to the end consumer, in this case—commuters,” said Vivekananda Hallekere, CEO of Bounce.

These businesses, however, say that state governments and businesses need to jointly build newer ways of shared and public transport to cater to safer mobility solutions. “We need to ensure adequate preparedness of cities to cater to these new requirements in the most efficient manner possible,” Anand Ayyadurai, CEO at Vogo, said.

In a report prepared by mobility firm Bounce and Vogo, Amitabh Kant, CEO of Niti Aayog, mirrored the sentiment and said, “India needs to prioritize sustainable mobility solutions that can help combat the challenges of social distancing and hygiene while ensuring economic activity resumes safely.”

The report further recommends that the government reduce the rate of Goods and Service Tax to 0% from 28% on self-drive scooters to promote alternative modes of mobility that are in line with mass rapid transit services. “In the post-covid-19 world, it is important to re-imagine public transport to factor in the changing needs of commute,” Hallekere added.

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