World over, the debilitating effects of Covid-19, on both human lives and economic growth, are no secret. The pandemic has forced thousands of people into ongoing isolation and brought cities across the globe to a standstill. Along with an unprecedented human toll, the coronavirus has triggered a deep economic crisis. On April 14,2020, the IMF released its global growth projections, revealing that in 2020, the global economy is expected to plunge into the worst recession since the Great Depression, far worse than the Global Financial Crisis.
There is, however, some hope that the fog of fear and panic created by the coronavirus will end soon. How soon? Only time can tell. But with some Indian cities coming out of the lockdown, and some business and individual freedoms being returned to people, we might see our cities wake up from slumber in the next few weeks. Albeit, in a staggered manner.
Where do we go from here?
As cities come back to life a little at a time, so will human traffic. Factories, businesses, and schools, among other gatherings will restart. Yet, as responsible citizens, we cannot simply go back to life as we know it. There’s always a chance that Covid-19 will reappear if we slack off in upholding public safety. So we must accept constant vigilance as the new normal until a vaccine is found. Governments and individuals alike must stay agile and put a hard stop to prevent any subsequent waves.
One of the important factors in containing the spread and the second wave is to find an effective solution on how to mobilise people, especially for the manufacturing and service delivery sector, while maintaining the desired distancing norms.
India’s policy response to the pandemic, including the fiscal stimulus package and the proactive decision to pursue a nationwide lockdown to stem the spread of the virus and to save lives has been commended worldwide.
The mobility dilemma
Mobility is a fundamental right & is the single most critical element for an economic reboot.
With public transportation utilization capped at <50% due to social distancing norms, this would put a higher share of private vehicles on already congested roads. Around the globe, authorities have recommended that where remote work is not feasible, firms should stagger their employees’ working hours. The start and end of their workdays should also not coincide with peak-hour travel, especially if their workers use public transport.
This means that even after cities reopen people may be wary of using public transport as close proximity with others might put them (or others that they live with) at a high risk of contracting the virus. Experts believe this will be a considerable number of people. These people will naturally still need to get to places, and they might not own a personal vehicle. Also, with reduced disposable income for the next couple of months due to salary cuts and lower business earnings, the affordability of personal vehicles will be a big concern. From an equity perspective, the government and authorities need to consider how they can support these people at this time to get where they need to go.
In India, the Delhi metro is 348 kms long and carries 5.6 million people everyday, on an average this leaves close to 6 people in the same square foot. Mumbai local trains are worse off as they carry 7.6 million people daily, and are 427 kms long and have 5-6 people per square foot as well. This means that even though public transport may be a viable option in terms of affordability, it doesn’t help with social distancing. Furthermore, there is speculation that post-lockdown car sales will go up. But not everyone already owns, or is in the position to buy private vehicles.
An overview of other modes available for riders gives a clear picture that any form of transport with exposure to/or contact with co-passengers will be adversely affected.This includes cab aggregators where the driver is in constant contact with a large number of riders which makes social distancing a challenge.
This brings us to the catch-22. How do we get moving?
Revathy Ashok, Managing Trustee & CEO, B.PAC while emphasizing the critical role of mobility says, “The world is seeing an extraordinary public and shared mobility challenge. The very sustainable mobility solutions that were being advocated are now under threat of virus transmission. In the short run, governments and shared mobility providers have to make many adjustments to the services they provide through social distancing, limiting the number of passengers and even providing single rider services with disinfection post each use. These are uncertain times and the challenge in front of us is to find ways to deliver a safe commute experience to the customer without compromising on the broader objectives of encouraging public and shared mobility”
Self-drive Scooters: the new reality of shared mobility
Before we answer the question, “How do we get moving”. Let’s consider the “why” of it first. In a nutshell, we need to get moving to reboot the economy, to restart cash flows, and to reinforce the ideology that this too shall pass. To do this while keeping everyone safe we need to look at new ways for the public to move around: Commute 2.0.
This is where self-drive scooters come in. By choosing a self-drive platform like Bounce, a person can go from Point A to Point B without any human intervention. Furthermore, choosing Bounce will ensure that people enjoy the trifecta of convenience, affordability, and social distancing. Self-drive scooters check all the boxes.
The benefits of using self-drive scooters, such as Bounce.
In addition to all these benefits, Bounce scooters are thoroughly sanitised and disinfected before and after each ride. With the help of a special antimicrobial surface solution, patented by Aegis USA, we can ensure that 99.9% of germs and viruses are killed immediately instead of lingering for hours or even days. This too, with minimum human contact by Bounce heroes who practice excellent hygiene in terms of washing their hands regularly, wearing protective masks and gloves, and even getting temperature-checked diligently. Moreover, we also encourage our users to practice hand-washing before and after trips, to always wear a mask while riding, and to carry their own helmets.
Urban India contributed 57% to the country’s GDP in 2012, accounted for 43% of consumption, and was home to 63% of its consuming class households. The access to capital, skills, technology, and availability of public infrastructure helps cities to leverage their intrinsic strengths, leading to higher productivity of urban areas. While a strong transportation system is one of the key factors in favour of urban growth and education, health care is more important for rural areas.
To achieve all of the above, choosing contactless scooters over other modes of transport is critical. Self-ride scooters not only provide both social distancing and efficiency, but also aid in reducing traffic and pollution. With the right enablers, one bike can help ten to twelve users to reach their destinations every day in comparison to one/two users through a private vehicle. In the current crisis situation, due to multiple inbuilt benefits in the model, several markets around the world have turned to self drive scooters and other micromobility solutions as a viable alternative.
So if you’re looking for the ideal solution to your commute woes, look no further. Bounce scooters are the best way to travel safely yet freely with no compromises and complete peace of mind.
Make the safe move!
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