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Adopting Micromobility in India

IntroRenting motorbikes to travel the hilly areas of Leh or cars while commuting in a different city are some of the common modes of traveling people employ while traveling for fun and experience. But have you ever considered this type of micromobility service as a means of public transport?

The usual answer would be a ‘No’ since this market was just taking flight when the corona outbreak stunted its growth before it could make its mark in the industry. And with the way lockdown is persisting in many parts of India, and new protocols being advised to be religiously followed like social distancing and minimum contact among people and public commodities, the significance of micromobility in India has risen to a new level.

With India gearing up to go back to work post-lockdown, the biggest concern we all face is “Just how do we go back? The mobility sector has faced the hardest hit in the market as public transport systems, especially in metro cities are not equipped enough for the needs of an enormous population in these testing times. So, does the resurgence of micromobility in India serves as a solution?

Understanding Micromobility

Sustainability is the hot topic of the century as people have started taking notice of the drastic climate changes all around the world due to the explosion of population and exponential increase of pollution due to vehicular emissions and industries.

fig 1Micromobility can be considered the new trend to solve the transportation problems of urban areas and cities. But what exactly do we mean by the term micromobility?

Micromobility can be defined as short-range commutes on lightweight vehicles, generally, on rent, that don’t go beyond 25 km/hour. Usual preferences in this type are scooters and bikes that use clean energy like rechargeable batteries to provide a sustainable means of transport. And though this trend has already shown its impact and had been adopted in many parts of the world, the market of micromobility in India is still at its initial stages.

Why the Shift to Micromobility?

As India is gearing up for the post lockdown scenario, they have to face a new reality of using public transport facilities as social distancing has become the new norm of society. And after witnessing the havoc COVID-19 has done within the past few months in India, people have become more conscious of using public utilities. Here are some of the main pointers that will solidify the belief that micromobility in India is the new solution to India’s recovery from COVID-19, especially in the face of decreasing confidence in public transport systems.

Solo Commute

Before the outbreak of the pandemic, the shared mobility market was in boom as many companies like Ola and Uber were providing shared mobility services at affordable prices. But according to a recent survey, people are now scared to use this service since safety from the virus has become one of the most critical factors and social distancing has become the main concern that needs to tackled at any cost.

The surge of micromobility in India and its services offers commuters the safety of single-passenger vehicles while providing minimal human interaction and natural social distancing that solves the issue of safety from the virus.

Cheaper Mode of Travel

Battery-Swapping-Is-Playing-An-Important-Role-In-MicromobilityAs the market of micromobility in India is growing at a rapid speed, many companies provide e-bikes and e-scooters for rent as an option that lowers the cost of renting as compared to cab services and traditional transportation modes. So cheap rates are also a driving growth factor for micromobility in India.

Fast and Easy

Riding a bike or scooter especially an electric one doesn’t need any special skills. We can just unlock a bike using the company’s mobile app and take it for a spin. It also helps in navigating traffic on congested roads a lot easier due to its small size due to which we can travel much faster in congested spaces. This is one of the major perks that is boosting micromobility services in India.

Sustainable Mode of Transport

Adopting the growing trend of using the sustainable mode to commute for short distances, micromobility market in India is becoming quite popular. Micromobility in India is steadily becoming the preferred choice of many people as they are becoming more conscious about saving the planet.

Challenges and Future Scenario of Micromobility Market

Fig 2Though the trend of micromobility in India is gaining speed, the market faces a few challenges on its way that hinders its complete adoption, ranging from limited infrastructure, lack of regulation, citywide bans, and theft of vehicles.

Since India still lacks a proper infrastructure in every part of the country like sufficient bike lanes and proper roads in rural areas, the full adoption of micromobility in India is still lacking.

Also, being a new market there is a serious gap in laws regarding any misuse of the market services, thus providing a leeway for crooked people to misuse the service or even theft.

Despite reciting all the above challenges made above, the micromobility market of India shows a bright future in the upcoming years, with various startups already functioning in many metro cities like Yulu, Uton Energia, Bounce and Vogo.

Micromobility in India can be considered as the emerging solution with a lot of benefits that cannot be ignored any longer. The market has shown enough potential that will help in tackling India’s economic and health crisis in the post lockdown period and beyond.

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Aishwarya Saxena

A book geek, with creative mind, an electronics degree, and zealous for writing.Creativity is the one thing in her opinion which drove her to enter into editing field. Allured towards south Indian cuisine and culture, love to discover new cultures and their customs. Relishes in discovering new music genres.

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