Railways’ e-bike rental sees good response

Express News Service

TIRUCHY: The e-bike rental service, which was inaugurated at the Tiruchy railway station on Thursday, received plenty of enquiries from passengers visiting the station on Friday. Officials said Tiruchy division is the first in Southern Railway to come up with such a facility and they are expecting good response from people.

At present, the facility is available from 9 am to 9 pm and is the only e-bike rental facility in the district. Sources said the railway has plans to make the facility available round the clock. “So many people have approached us to get the details of various packages. Some of them also enquired about the price of e-bikes and charges. At present, we are offering hourly, day rental, weekly and business packages. We are charging about Rs 50 for the hourly package. But, customers have to pay a refundable security deposit of Rs 1,000 for taking the bike. We also need a copy of their Aadhaar and driving licence,” an employee of the e-bike centre said.

Passengers have appreciated the initiative and said the railway should come up with such facilities at more stations. Selvaraj, a railway passenger, said, “It is a good initiative. However, the railway should consider avoiding security deposits. Though the security deposit is refundable, many people might avoid using the facility as they have to pay Rs 1,000 as deposit. Therefore, they should consider reducing the amount.”

According to sources, several passengers also enquired whether the facility is available only for railway passengers.“Anyone can use this facility by submitting the documents and security deposit. All the bikes have an in-built GPS facility and we are able to track its location. We would give the bike with sufficient charge and it can travel a maximum of 110 to 130 km (depending on speed and other factors). But, the customers can use this bike only in Tiruchy and they cannot travel to other districts. If the bike faces any technical issue, they can inform us and we will pick it up from the spot,” an e-bike centre employee clarified.

Meanwhile, a section of students opined that the railway should consider offering some packages for them. “Many of us would like to use this facility as it is very convenient. But, the railway should consider coming up with a package for students as the existing deposit fee is not affordable for us,” said Rahul Raj, a college student and railway passenger.


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