NAMMA CYCLE is a public bicycling initiative in Bangalore with the aim of increasing connectivity and creating environmentally friendly modes of public transportation. The name is inspired from ‘namma’, which means ‘ours’ in Kannada, and signifies the concept of shared ownership. We aim to make it popular across the cities to reduce pollution and to mitigate the effects of global warming.
Ride-A-Cycle Foundation is a Non Profit NGO that wants to encourage cycling – as a form of recreation, sport and as a means to commute to work. RAC-F started doing the research work for making Bicycle Sharing work in the Indian Context. Since Bangalore took a lead in Technology Development, the team came up with a simple web based model in the back end and android phone in the front end for renting out the bicycles.
How does it work ?
Namme Cycle uses a simple web application for the process of renting out bicycles. The bicycles are available for rent at a network of nodes or stations. A central stock circulates the bicycles between nodes to ensure that bicycles are available at all nodes, at all times.
1. Sign-Up: Sign-up through an online system, receive a unique ID, and pay a nominal pre-paid registration fee. Students will be registered on receiving a letter of authorisation from the respective department heads. The unique ID will be linked to the students’ information on the institute records. The system will store each rental transaction; stolen or unreturned bicycles can be detected easily.
2. Select: Once registered, select a bicycle from any node or station. The node manager will record the rental transaction using a mobile phone application.
3. Ride: The first half hour of each transaction is free. Ride the bicycle to your desired destination within the campus.
4. Return: On completing the journey, return the bicycle to the nearest node or station. The node manager at that station will end the rental transaction.
User to receive a SMS when he picks up or drops a bicycle.
What have we achieved till now ?
We have completed 4000 trips in six months. We have stabilised the software system and
made it open source. Bicycle status can be seen in real time on our web site.
What are the goals of the project
IN the smaller cities of India there is hardly any Public Transport. We believe Bicycle Sharing will act as a city wide transport service thereby reducing the pressure on auto mobiles and making a cheap and environmental mode of transport available to public, especially the urban poor.
What are the SYstems/Time Span needed to run this project in another city say of 5 lakh population ?
Namma Cycle uses technology to take care of logistics, finance and the rental operations of the Rental System.
EC Bike Software, a Free and Open software ‘ECBike’ system is provided by the Gubbi Labs.
Following features of the software are worth highlighting:
1> Generation of Trip Statistics.
2> Trip details for the day.
3> Unreturned Trips details.
4> Managing the entire Bicycle Sharing Operation in a easy manner.
5> Moving the Bicycles from Stock to Node and Vice Versa.
6> Registering the member and collecting the Subscription Fee from the member.
We have realized that Bicycles should have a unique design to avoid theft and to make the bicycles visible in public spaces. Operators use a unique design which differs from regular private bicycles. The bicycles are usually the same color and have the same frames and are recognizable even when stolen and repainted.
From the user’s perspective, adjustable seat posts make them suitable for most users, such as people with luggage, the elderly or disabled. Also, users of all heights – short or tall – should be able to use the bikes comfortably. These features have been requested by many users.
We are studying Bicycle Design in different cities and would like to freeze the specification for the same.
Technology Innovation for Performance Improvement
We are considering high-tech stations with solar powered mobile charging stations. The stations also offer space for additional advertising and information.
We also plan to give smart cards with Near Field Communication Technology (NFC) to all members, so that rental transactions can be completed within 5 seconds as against the current time of about 20 sec
Category: Science, Research and Development