How often do we get to see people asking you to increase the fare? Also, how do we get people to accept the idea of unlimited free rides (for short rides)?
The idea of first few minutes of usage being free is not new as most telecom companies employ a similar strategy. However, at Namma Cycle, the idea behind getting people to use and return a cycle within 30 mins at zero cost, has its roots in our philosophy of holding onto resources only for the duration that we really need, thus having enough for everyone with minimal resources.
For the past 3 weeks, we have been trying to make people unlearn the concept of ‘renting’ and get used to ‘sharing’ cycles. Today, our operations manager got a free lesson in economics from a resident cycle mechanic cum cycle rental owner as the mechanic strongly dismissed our idea of unlimited free 30 min rides as stupid. He even told us that ‘smart’ users would return the cycles within 30 mins and immediately log another trip for another 30 mins of free usage. Well, that is exactly our intention.
A few visitors are pleasantly surprised to be able to go around the campus on a cycle for Rs. 20 or less. One gentleman suggested that we increase the fare!