Former Uber East Africa general manager, Lodic Amado and his wife Valery has kickstarted an electric bike rental programme, that has seen about 500 bikes lined up for various areas across Nairobi.
“The team and I looked at what to do with the bikes that were not going back into circulation after the Jump division closed and thought it wise to repurpose these beautiful bicycles and help solve transportation challenges faced by these young learners,” says Amado, a sustainability investor.
The couple has laid out plans to roll out a rental program of the bikes in national parks before starting the bike renting business.
Currently, they are targeting Karura Forest, Ngong Forest, Hell’s Gate, Diani Beach and Watamu. The business will also target people doing short trips within Nairobi CBD and suburbs such as Karen.
However, the rent price is yet to be set, but for a start at Karura Forest, for instance, the bike could be rented out for as much as KES 750 to KES 1000 for two hours.
The bikes are powered electrically with a pedal-assist feature, which lets cyclists ride with less strain. The vehicles have also fitted a battery that provides a boost while pedalling and can cover up to 32 kilometres per hour.
The batteries can be charged, a process that takes a couple of hours per battery. But for convenience and flexibility, users have the option of swapping depleted batteries for fully charged ones in just minutes.
“We have identified several mechanics that are well versed with the bicycles to service them,” says Amado.
The duo has also donated over 100 out of the 500 bikes to various schools in informal settlements around Nairobi.