No peddlers to hawk the cycle-for-hire trade

Published: 03rd July 2013 09:02 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd July 2013 09:02 AM   |  A+A-

Sun,-sweat-and-a-pedal

At a time when the humble bicycles have become mere exercise machines, a few shops in Chennai still continue to hire cycles for the common man. Albeit with limited number of cycles, these (hire cycle) shops are thronged by workers from the construction sector.

“Carpenters, masons and painters are our major customers,” says Suresh, who is running a hire cycle shop at of Rengarajapuram in Kodambakkam. “Workers with the construction industry prefer bicycles, as they can reach remote areas, where public transport is not available. Our tariff is Rs 3 per hour and if a customer hires a cycle for 24 hours, we offer them at a flat rate of Rs 25,” he added.

Bicycles were once the most sought after mode of transport for a good chunk of Chennaities, who pedalled to their destinations. This resulted in mushrooming of hire cycle shops that had heralded the street corners of the city, till two decades ago.

Ranganathan, a hire cycle shop owner at Saidapet said that as many as 130 hire cycle and repairing shops were functioning in West Saidapet alone, about 20 years ago. “We even launched an association, comprising of hire cycle owners to fix tariff and repairing charges for bicycles. But, when school students got free bicycles, our business started to fade away,” he observed.

Hire cycle owners also underscore that paucity for labour was another major reason for the decline in the trade. “I am still interested in  reviving my hire cycle shop, but only if I can find the right people to help run the shop,” Ranganathan stressed. He just wound up his hire cycle shop a month ago, but not without a lot of remorse.

Stay up to date on all the latest Chennai news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp