After cycles, the Chennai Metro Rail will soon have motorbikes and e-bikes at stations to improve the last-mile connectivity for commuters.
According to Chennai Metro Rail Limited officials, they are in talks with two firms which can provide the motorbikes and e-bikes at the earliest. “At first, we will have motorbikes, which will be put up at Meenambakkam and Thirumangalam and depending on the patronage, the service will be expanded to other stations as well. Simultaneously, we are in talks with another firm to provide us with e-bikes,” he added.
The costs are still being worked out with the respective firms, sources said. But the disadvantage is that commuters will have to leave the bike at the same station they pick it up from, and not in the other stations, unlike cycles.
Bike taxi service
Meanwhile, the Chennai Metro Rail has started holding discussions with cab aggregators Ola and Uber to start bike taxis in the city. Sources said they were in talks with the Transport Department to see how this could be implemented.
Bike taxis of Uber are functioning at Gurgaon and Hyderabad. In fact, in Gurgaon, over 25% of uberMOTO trips began or ended near a metro station within the first three months of launching the service in the city, Uber spokesperson said.
“In Chennai, 70% of the vehicles are two-wheelers and nearly 1,500 get added every day. Given the high density of two-wheelers in the city, bike taxis have the potential to make ride-sharing accessible to a wider section of consumers and can further encourage the use of public transit systems,” he said.
At present, about 22,000-25,000 people use the Metro Rail. This number can increase significantly when more people have easy access to quick, reliable and affordable rides to/from the metro stations. This can help tackle growing vehicular congestion and make multi-modal commute a reality for many, he added.