ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information Technology and Telecom Syed Amin Ul Haque launched the country’s first electric bike-sharing service — called ezBike — here on Wednesday.
During its first phase the service will be available in Rawalpindi and Islamabad.
At the launching ceremony, the minister said that ezBike would be a great option, especially for working women. The bikes would be available near stations of the metro-bus service in the twin cities.
The bike service would be launched in all major cities of the country within a year, he said.
“Men and women can leave this bike wherever they go and the charges of using it will be Rs5 per minute,” Mr Haque said.
Launched by Roamer Technologies, ezBike is an app-based service which deploys electric bikes around the city and makes them available for use by members of the public, according to a handout.
Briefing the minister, Mohammad Hadi, the chief executive officer of Roamer Technologies, explained that a user would be able to locate and reserve an electric bike parked near him/her using the ezBike’s mobile app, ride it to his/her destination and park it in a designated zone, after which it would be available for the next user.
The entire experience, from registration to booking and payment, would be digital. The user would pay Rs5 to unlock the bike and Rs5 per minute for the ride.
The rider would have the option of stopping his/her journey to run errands, for example, during which (s)he would be charged at a reduced rate of Rs2 per minute.
Roamer Technologies has partnered with Jazz to provide connectivity through Jazz sims and payments would be made through JazzCash.
Roamer Technologies, an Islamabad-based startup, plans to deploy over 2,000 bikes in one year across Pakistan and the service is expected to significantly change the concept of public transport in the country.
Globally, bike-sharing companies have already revolutionised the urban transport scene with over 100,000 bikes deployed across 88 cities in the world.
While identification and other details of the user can be recorded and checked through their mobile phone data and each electric bike can be traced with the help of installed electronic devices, the company’s officials were unable to explain what would happen in case of a traffic accident.