Bicycle rental company Jobike is going to roll out its service in the University of Dhaka tomorrow to make the movement convenient for users in the vast campus, in its biggest move since its launch less than two years ago.
One hundred bikes will be available during the trial run, which will last a week.
The rental company will launch the service commercially after the piloting and would increase the number of vehicles, Mehedi Reza, founder and chief executive of Jobike, told The Daily Star.
“We are very excited because for the first time we are going to operate the service in an open area.”
The service will be only available on the campus of the century-old university and students, teachers and university staff members will be eligible, said Reza, also a former product operations manager at Alibaba Group, the world’s largest online trading company.
Registered users can easily move from Nilkhet to Nimtoli, Palashi and Shaheed Minar to Shahbagh using the service.
There will be touchpoints in front of student dormitories, academic buildings and administrative buildings where Jobike’s representatives will also help the interested users.
Users will have to go through a registration process to obtain a registration number and after being registered, they will have to download the app of the company to start using bicycles.
The app will display nearby docks with available bikes. After entering payment information, a QR code will be provided, which needs to be scanned to unlock bikes from the dock.
For the DU, Jobike is planning to bring down the charge from the existing Tk 3 for five minutes, which is Tk 1 per minute in the other areas the service is currently available.
Users can top up balance on their mobile phones in the company’s payment system for using it for riding.
The Dhaka University Central Students’ Union (Ducsu) has lent its support to launch the service.
Shams E Noman, students’ transport affairs secretary of the union, said when travelling short distances students have to spend more in rickshaw fares which is a burden on them.
“So, we have given importance to it. Besides, the service of Jobike is cost-efficient and eco-friendly. Riding bicycles is good for health as well,” he said.
The service was first launched in Cox’s Bazar in January 2018 and was later introduced at Jahangirnagar University, Chittagong University, the Shahjalal University of Science and Technology in Sylhet, and Mirpur DOHS.
However, the service at the CU and the JU was postponed after a few months after some of the company’s bicycles were vandalised.
The company is now going to relaunch the service in the CU under a franchise model where the owner will look after the bicycles.
Reza said it is getting huge amount of response from the users in the Mirpur DOHS, where the service was introduced in January.
The company is working to roll out the service in Bashundhara residential area, Gulshan, Baridhara, Uttara, and Dhanmondi.
The startup’s plan is to make two-wheelers one of the main modes of transport in the congested city, Dhaka.
“This will help in building clean and smart cities in Bangladesh,” Reza said.