Photo: newfangledgirl.com
When can a cycle hitch a ride on a bike... when it's being stolen!

Posted: Apr 06, 2018     By City Spidey

Mobycy, a bicycle-sharing app, was launched some four months back. A user has to download the app on his/her phone, scan the QR code to unlock the cycle, and drive it to a destination within a 5-km radius. All good, right? Not quite. These bicycles are being easily stolen, and miscreants are physically lifting the locked cycles and taking them away!    

On average, the company is losing two bicycles every month while clocking nearly 60,000 rides per month, confirmed Akash Gupta, CEO and founder of Mobycy.

The app’s administrators have lodged six cases of bicycle theft with Gurgaon Police so far.

According to company officials, users leave bicycles in dedicated parking areas and they end up being stolen or misplaced. “We recovered two bicycles after filing a complaint with the Gurgaon police,” the CEO said.

On many occasions, according to company officials, users do not park cycles at the designated spots listed on the app and leave it on the side of the road or near their residences, making these vehicles vulnerable to theft.

The company started with 200 bicycles in December 2017 and increased its fleet to 350 over time. The cycles are mainly located on the Golf Course Road, Golf Course Extension Road, DLF Phase-4, South City II, Sector 31 and in areas near Huda City Centre Metro station.

Gupta revealed that since the cycles are fitted with GPS, the company officials are able to track their location and determine whether it has been stolen.

“There were two cases wherein a user rented cycles from our parking lot and hid them at their houses. One such case was in Sector 31 and another in Sector 50. In both cases, the user denied any knowledge of where the cycle was and, after checking with locals, we were able to verify that the cycle was at their houses. After a few days, we recovered the cycles,” Gupta recounted.

In one case, a man took the bicycle on a motorcycle till Faridabad, while in another case, a rag picker took a cycle till Jharsa Chowk and was in the process of dismantling the vehicle when it was traced and recovered.

In two other cases, company officials found bicycles abandoned at a site in Ghata village and in a farm in Rewari, but they weren’t able to trace the thieves.

These incidents have led to certain modifications in security measures. Besides increasing ground surveillance, the company now has battery-operated and CNG fitted vehicles that pick the bicycles and return them to the original parking lots.

TAGS: Mobycy / bicycle-sharing app / theft / Gurgaon police / stolen / parking spots / app / miscreants



Rizwan Uddin

Posted 10 months ago

We are trying to follow Western model of bicycle sharing. In India there is greater need to provide better parking facilities, more safety and access on roads to cyclists is essential. Indians prefer to buy their own bicycles. We can travel longer distances. E-rickshaw is preferable mode for commuting short distances. Low cost bicycle parking on Metro Stations would encourage cyclists to a great extent.