For a lot of people with a bicycle in Mumbai, cycling to work seems daunting. This is because people are used to thinking of cycling as a leisure activity — weekend activities done on wide open empty roads in the countryside, not amidst crazy traffic in the morning before an important meeting.
For the past year, Chetan Temkar and his colleagues at Smart Shehar, along with cyclists at The Smart Commute Foundation, have been trying to address this problem. They’ve created an app that lets people join others cycling to work along a similar route. That way, you can get up in the morning, see who is riding and where, and join them along the way.
Similar to ride-sharing app, this one allows you to create a shared route with other cyclists headed in the same direction. Users can also see which routes nearby cyclists are taking, notify cyclists that you are about to join them, and enter and exit when they wish.
The app also enables people to find experienced cyclists commuting in their neighborhood. To get things started, a core group of experienced cyclists are trip leaders who have uploaded their routes. These are commonly travelled routes from residential areas like Juhu to commercial hubs such as BKC. Joining these experienced trip leaders on group rides to work eases the transition from a tentative newbie into regular, full-fledged, bicycle commuter.