If students of Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS) have their way, city roads will soon have dedicated cycling lanes. The cycle chalao project they launched last year for students at a college in Mulund at bare minimum rates has received worldwide acclaim.
The business plan won the first prize at a global competition held by the Australian government. The students have now decided to extend the service to office goers in Hiranandani, Powai.
Three 22-year-old students from the social entrepreneurship batch at NMIMS, Vile Parle, started the project almost a year ago for students of Kelkar College.
“As students, we realised that most of our pocket money is spent on travelling from railway stations to the college and back. We figured that an alternative mode of commuting will be a boon for us. Hence, we launched the cycle chalao business plan with a small returnable loan from a Rotary Club,” said Jui Gangan, one of the students. Gangan has worked on the project with two of her classmates, Rajkumar Janagan and Jyotika Bhatia.
The students invested the money in buying 30 bicycles and started offering the service to students who had to pay Rs150 per month for rides from the station to college and back.
There are two people stationed at both points, who take care of the bicycles and the membership. With the success of their pilot project, plans are afoot to increase membership charges from Rs150 to Rs170 per month, and allow a fixed number of rides.
While the project was started with 250 students accessing the service in the first month, now each of their cycles makes 150 rides per month.
The students are heading to Australia next month to present their paper. The project won the first prize among 35 global participants