With the aim to support Pune Cycle Plan, the Pune Municipal Corporation has signed a MoU with Alibaba backed bike-sharing startup ofo. Under this agreement, ofo will deploy it cycle across Pune in phased manner.
Pune Cycle Plan is a comprehensive bicycle master plan for integrated city-wide cycle tracks across Pune. It sets out to create the necessary infrastructure for proper cycle tracks, a city-wide cycle network, seamless public sharing bicycle schemes and development of cycle promotion activities for encouraging the use of cycle as a mode of transport.
Mobility has become a major civic issue in Pune recently as facilities for public commuting have not kept pace with the city's growth. As per PMC's Environment Status Report 2016-17, with 700 private vehicles being added to the roads every day, the city's vehicle population is now equal to its human population. This rapid rise in vehicular traffic is leading to air pollution, health problems, accidents, and wastage of time in traffic congestion. Recognizing this, the PMC has come up with the Pune Cycle Plan as part of its Comprehensive Mobility Plan (CMP).
“We are getting closer to our vision of sustainable mobility and healthy living in Pune. Along with partnerships for public bicycle sharing with partners like ofo, we are creating infrastructure where cycling is safe, attractive, comfortable and the travel mode of choice. As more people switch to bikes from cars for short-distance travel, apart from getting exercise, they will also help reduce traffic congestion, fuel consumption and air pollution,” said Kunal Kumar, Commissioner of the Pune Municipal Corporation.
ofo said that it has operations in over 250 cities across 20 countries. Its bike sharing platform requires no fixed docking stations, thus providing significant flexibility for user to find and return bikes. In July 2017, ofo completed Series E funding of US$700 million led by Alibaba, Hony Capital and CITIC Private Equity.