Namma Cycle is a community bicycle sharing system. The name is inspired from ‘namma’, which means ‘ours’ in Kannada, and signifies the concept of shared ownership. Bicycle sharing is an efficient system of using a common pool of bicycles to meet short commuting needs. A pilot initiative at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore was launched on 6th August 2012. This has been started with 150 cycles sponsored by TI Cycles India, part of the Muruguppan Group based out of Chennai, and 4 bicycle station racks sponsored by BCIL, a biodiversity company based in Bangalore will soon be expanded to include more bicycles, stations and a wider area. Gubbi Labs is one of the key partner in this endeavor. Other partners in this initiative are Imagine Bangalore; EMBARQ India, a non-profit that helps implement sustainable urban mobility solutions; and CiSTUP, a centre of advanced research and training in transportation engineering.
Gubbi Labs has built the software for the system, which will soon be free and open source to make it easily replicable for similar programs around the country. Users pay a nominal charge as per pricing scheme that best suits them and use the shared bicycles whenever they want to make short trips. The project works on a simple Sign-Up, Select, Ride and Return system where students can sign-up via the website and get a registration ID, select a cycle from any of the station racks, ride the cycle to their destination and return it to the nearest station. Based on the success of the pilot, the project will be expanded to a 2 km radius around the campus to students and faculty living in the area. This then has the potential to grow into a wider network, which would involve greater partnerships with the local municipal authorities to improve road infrastructure for cyclists. Please visit http://www.nammacycle.in for more details and regular updates.