Surat Chartered Bike is what we are going to discuss here. The chartered bike service in the surat city is the latest initiative launched by the Surat Municipal Corporation. And we (as in Surat101) couldn’t resist sharing our point of view.
So let’s start then with the sophisticated chartered bike services in the diamond city. But wait. Before we begin drilling and grilling the advanced chartered bike service in our silk city we need to understand what does chartered means in the first place.
” Cycling it’s not a Hobby it’s your inner peace.”
The Meaning of Term Chartered
According to Google, the word meaning of chartered is having been hired. For example, the politician arrived in a chartered plane. Having said this, here the meaning of chartered in the context of the bike is hiring a ride for a short distance or purpose.
Context of the Word Bike in India
Now the word bike is a little tricky here. In foreign countries, bicycles are bikes for people. Here in India, we have an altogether different meaning of bikes.
Those running on petrol or battery, used for daily commuting is what we call a bike. Normally a two-wheeler to say precisely. We all know the significance of a two-wheeler in India culture, transportation, and economy.
Okay back to the Surat chartered bike services. SMC has done a fab job by putting in a foreign country concept on the roads of surat city.
Surat Chartered Bike & Our Love for Bicycles
Bicycles are our childhood crush. It is the only ride to enjoy and impress others. We all have enjoyed learning and riding bicycles in childhood. Needless to say, a bicycle was and is our biggest treasure of childhood.
We grow, leave our childhood crush and start riding motorcycles, cars, and fancy stuff. But do you know who invented the cycle?
Bicycle (Bike): The Greatest Invention
Baron Karl Von Drais invented the first bicycle in 1817. It was called velocipede ( a two-wheeled human-powered vehicle). Velocipede had no pedals moreover, to operate it you need to run.
For this reason, it was nicknamed “the hobby horse”
The first bicycle was made almost entirely from wood, with brass bushing and steel-rimmed wheels. As a result, it weighed around 22 kg (48.5 lbs). If we measure modern bikes they weigh about half of the wooden bicycle.
A Brief History of Bicycle
The “treadle bicycle” was invented in 1860, before rotational pedals were added. A treadle is another way of converting a pedal motion into a rotational one. It more closely resembles a cross-trainer.
In the middle of all these bicycles got replaced by modern bikes and cars. Soon people forgot about traditional bicycles. Now the age-old invention is limited to school kids, daily workers or someone who can’t afford a petrol bike.
With all this in mind and many more things, the SMC of the diamond city has come up with an innovative idea of daily commuting.
It’s the “Surat Chartered Bike”. Let’s see what surtis have in store for them.
Surat Chartered Bike: What is it?
The Surat chartered bike service is simply a bicycle sharing service just like an auto or taxi. The only difference is there’s no driver. It’s self-drive and you have to paddle it. There’s no accelerator in it. It’s a normal bicycle.
Now you might be like – What’s the big deal? Let me tell you what’s different.
The chartered bike in Surat city comes with a touch of modern technology. For example, it has a computerized lock system that opens up with a mobile app. Interesting? I will soon explain this in detail. Just stay with me.
The Concept of Chartered Bike
It’s completely a no brainer that riding a bicycle is good for health and reduces pollution. I hope you agree with this. The concept of the chartered bike is the perfect campaign to achieve good health and help decrease the deadly pollution gases.
Moreover, people having a busy lifestyle who don’t have time to go to the gym can use chartered bike surat services. Riding these bikes can be useful to boost your immune system.
All in all the whole concept of a chartered bike in the Surat city is to bring back the ancient old commuting method in the mainstream.
The Concept of Chartered Bikes in Foreign Countries
The concept of chartered bike originated in countries like the U.S., Europe, Africa, Australia, etc. On top of it, the first chartered bike scheme launched in Portland, Oregon of the United States in 1994 with 1000 bikes.
Further, it started in Valence and Drôme of France in march 2010 by a company named Smoove. Currently, there are more than 1000 cities across the world using this facility.
The number of public-use bicycles available around the world has tripled between 2013 and 2016. By the end of 2016, nearly 2.3 million bikes were available to the public. Besides, 1.9 million bikes were located in China alone.
With 430 bike-sharing programs, China is the frontrunner. But as Uber’s latest acquisition shows, it is catching on in the United States as well.
In addition, there are lots of companies like OFO, Yanna, sRide, oBike, Bounce, BicinCitta and others providing this scheme.
The Chartered Bike Usage & Limitations
The chartered bike is India’s first smart bike-sharing company. The company is already operating in Bhopal, Ranchi, Surat and planning to expand across all smart cities of India.
It is an app-based cycle sharing system. One person at a time can rent and ride. You can’t carry another person (even a small child) on the chartered bike. It’s a single-use ride.
Plus you cannot transport flammable, explosive, toxic or dangerous materials using the chartered bike in surat. It’s a big NO-NO.
However, the company has provided a basket to carry luggage if you want. But the weight limit is only 15kg. In short, you can carry only 15kg maximum on the chartered bike.
One more thing you can’t do stunts or dangerous actions using a chartered bike. The service is intended and restricted to be used in the city limits only. The rider cannot take or travel using a chartered bike out of the city limits.
But there’s an exception.
If you want to take a chartered bike out on a trip then you need permission from the local chartered bike station. The permission must be in writing.
Besides, during the ride, in the city, if you meet with an accident then first inform the nearest station of the chartered bike and also to the police.
In that case, you (the rider) are liable for damages. Additionally, you will have to pay a penalty of Rs 5000/- in case of an accident.
The Surat chartered bike-sharing service doesn’t need a license to ride. But if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs then you are not allowed to ride the bike.
How Does Surat Chartered Bike Works?
Modern technology makes life easy and the same is with the chartered bike services in Surat.
The first step is to sign up. Either use the website or the chartered bike surat mobile app using your mobile number. With all this said, the chartered bike is not free of cost. First 30 minutes it is free and then you will be charged. Refer to the official table of cost below.
Once your account actives, use the chartered bike mobile app, enter the bike number and receive the unlock code, enter the unlock code into the on-board computer, press ok. Secure the cable lock in the basket holder and you can enjoy the ride.
You can always quick stop mid-trip, choose the parking option on the onboard computer and slide the cable lock through the front wheel. To return the bike slide into a vacant dock and secure it using the cable lock and click return on the onboard computer and you are free to go.
A key point here is if the docks are full just park the bike at the station. Remember not to park the bike out of the station.
There are many routes and stations on the map showing you the nearest location on your smartphone. You can see chartered bike routes on the map like Dumas Road, City Light Town, Athwa, Delhi Darwaja Flyover, Railway Station Area, Varachha, Civil Square Flyover, Sagrampura and so on.
Surat being a rapidly growing city this scheme is very useful to reduce traffic and pollution.
How Much Does it Cost?
We have already discussed the pricing table above. The chartered bike is highly affordable in Surat. The first half-hour is always free, then Rs.5 for 60 minutes. Further, there will be a charge of Rs.10 for 120 minutes, Rs.25 for 2-3 hours and so on.
If you want to rent the bike for more than 8 hours then it will cost Rs.350 or more.
To start a ride via credit or debit card there should be a minimum 300rs balance in your wallet. Yes, the app provides an eWallet to store eMoney to use the rental bike services.
The Pros and Cons of Surat Chartered Bike Service
Every technology has its own share of positive and negative aspects. The same applies to the Surat chartered bike services. Here’s a list of the pros and cons of this scheme. Take a look below:
Pros of Chartered Bike Services:
- It reduces traffic problems
- It’s an eco-friendly system
- Savings on fuel and oils
- Easy to rent and ride
- Even senior citizens can rent and ride
- eWallet for online transaction
- Comfortable riding for all age group
- No issue of losing the key and low petrol
- Easy to park and requires less parking space
- It doesn’t require a driving license and P.U.C.
Cons of Chartered Bike Services:
- Insufficient docking stations in Surat
- Distance between 2 docking station is huge
- Improper maintenance of the bikes
- Less air in the bike tires
- Substandard front carriers which break easily
- The app stops working and the bike lock doesn’t open
- The bike has no shock absorbers. A big problem for people with back pain
Is the concept a failure or is it a winner in surat?
The concept is not a total failure in the Surat city. However, we can’t say that it is a complete winner too. People here in Surat have been using the chartered bike for different purposes. But there’s a lack of discipline of using the same.
Riders don’t park the bike properly. They damage the bike instead of valuing this great initiative. People need to understand that this is for them. If they don’t use it wisely it will soon perish and we will lose a premium service.
This is the reason why the SMC has proposed a penalty of 5000 rupees for damages. Click to read Terms and Condition of the company.
Common FAQs about Chartered Bike in Surat
1. What is the Chartered Bike-share scheme?
Chartered Bike is a public bike-sharing scheme. The bikes make it easy and fun to get around Surat, with no worries about traffic or parking.
The scheme operated by Chartered Bike Private Limited who has experience of managing bike share schemes in 3 cities in India. You can hire a bike from any Chartered Bike docking station and return it to any of the official docking stations across the city.
2. Can I hire more than one bike using a single account?
Of course. You can hire up to two bikes simultaneously so you can enjoy a trip with family and friends
3. Can I take my bike out of Surat?
Yes, just make sure you return the bike to an official Chartered Bike docking station when you’re finished. You cannot keep in use the bike for more than 24 hours and to ensure this a penalty of Rs. 5000 may be charged.
4. What do I do if I have a problem with my Chartered Bike?
Please check the bike before hiring to make sure there’s nothing wrong. If you do find a fault after renting a bike, you can return to the same station within three minutes without being charged.
If you experience a fault, please call the customer service team on 97272 47247 for assistance. The operator may ask you to return to the nearest station or lock the bike securely nearby.
You can also report faults in the Chartered Bike app. The mobile app is free to download on Google Play or App Store (iOS).
5. Will my Rs.300 credit ever expire?
No. Your credit will stay on your account unless you use it towards fares or a subscription fee, or cancel your customer account. If you’d like to cancel your subscription and have any remaining credit on your account refunded, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 97272 47247.
6. Are there any other charges or penalty fares?
Chartered Bike may make additional charges in the following circumstances:
- Collection fee if a bike does not leave at, or next to, a chartered bike docking station: Rs. 200 collection fee plus Rs.50 per km travel costs, dependent upon the location.
- Damaged bike: Rs. 5000.