Kochi: Kochi is rekindling its love for the good, old cycle. After all cycling is good for your health and the environment. Now, you can pedal your way through the city at nominal prices. You can pick up the cycle from a cycle stand, ride to your destination and drop off the two-wheeler at the nearest station.
The low cost and the ease of riding through even the narrow paths make cycles appealing to the city folks. What’s more – you don’t have to own the cycle or worry about any upkeeping tasks.
As part of the Centre's smart city project, Cochin Smart Mission Limited (CSML) and Kochi Metro Rail Ltd (KMRL) jointly implemented the Public Bike Sharing (PBS) project along with private participation.
Hexi, the joint venture of Hero Cycles and Youon Technologies, runs the project. In the first phase, 202 Hexi cycles have been introduced in the city.
For both men & women
The cycle has been designed such that it can be easily used by both men and women. The cycles are also equipped with GPS and electronic-locking system. The tyres are also puncture-resistant.
The cycles are available at 16 stands. Every stand would have around 10 cycles.
More cycle stands are being readied at various places, including at metro stations, as part of the project started in October.
The project aims for 1,000 vehicles. The Hexi authorities said that the remaining cycles would soon arrive in the city. There were some technical difficulties during the start of the project. These have been now resolved, the authorities said.
As the cycle is specially designed with logo and GPS system, likelihood of robbery is also less.
However, the PBS does not follow the traditional model of hiring a cycle from the wayside shop. For this, you have to have some technical knowledge and a smartphone with internet connection. All the tasks of taking the cycle, returning and paying the bill are done through the online app. Only with the mobile app, can you unlock the cycle.
How to avail one
1. Download Hexi mobile app from the Google PlayStore or the App Store
2. Sign in and select your plan
3. Once you reach the cycle station, use the scanner on the app to scan the QR code on the cycle to unlock it
4. When you finish the ride, the cycle has to be returned at the cycle station. You can find out the nearest cycle station using the app. At the end of the journey, you can select 'end trip' and lock the cycle.
5. According to the plan selected, you would have to make the payment via the app.
6. If the cycle suffers any technical glitch, you can contact the customer care via the mobile app and lock the cycle somewhere nearby. As it is fitted with the GPS system, the mechanics would be able to reach the location and resolve the problem.
Customer care number: 7528810000
Additional fare after 30 minutes
Initially, the user can choose from daily, monthly or six-month cycle packages. Later on, the hourly packages could be launched.
1 day - Rs 23
1 week - Rs 49
1 month - Rs 175
6 months - Rs 706
For every package, the fixed rate is for the 30-minute ride. The user would have to pay an additional Rs 5 for every 30 minutes more.
A ride is considered complete for billing once a cycle is unlocked at one stand and locked at another. Like this, you can make any number of 30-minute rides for the fixed rate in the package.
Additional fare kicks in if the ride exceeds 30 minutes. As per this, you would have to pay extra Rs 5 for one-hour ride, Rs 10 for a 1.5-hour ride and Rs 15 for a two-hour ride.
The extra fare has to be given at the above rates if the user goes on a long-distance trip or until the cycle is taken back to the stand and locked.
Edappally metro station (two stands on either side)
Changambuzha metro station
Palarivattom metro station
Kaloor Jawaharlal Nehru stadium metro station
Kaloor metro station
Lissie Junction metro station
MG Road, Seematti Parking
High Court (in front of the Indian Coffee House)
Ernakulam Boat Jetty
Near Government HSS at Panampilly Nagar
Opposite ICICI Bank at Panampilly Nagar
IDBI Panampilly Nagar
Near streetscape walkway water tank at Panampilly Nagar
KMRL Parking at the end of the Shihab Thangal Road near Panampilly Nagar
Kadavanthra bus stop, opposite GCDA.