Impact of the Quadricycle on the Consumers
The news from government to allow Quadricycle to ply as a public transport comes as a relief for many. There are cities like Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad, Thane and Mumbai, Secundarabad and Hyderabad etc. where such a quadricycle would be cost efficient as well as safe and comfortable for drivers/consumers.
The Bajaj RE60 is one such quadricycle which is put to production. Is this Quadricycle really supposed to be a game changer? We look at the various aspects of it.
No competition yet, to Tata Nano.
While Karl Slym, the MD of Tata motors tweeted aggressively against utilization of Quadricycle on the Indian roads, citing concerns over safety of passengers, he does not have to worry about the overall sales figures of Tata Nano taking a dip because of this.
The government panel suggests this vehicle would purely be used as an intra-city transport within municipal limits. Below is a tweet from the MD of Tata Motors, challenging the safety norms for quadricycle.
As the Nano competition with RE60 is ruled out, the prospects of capturing the quadricycle market for the Tata’s would be tougher, since Bajaj already has the infrastructure ready to kick start the commercial production. Tata could also enter the commercial vehicular transport segment with the launch of Nano in commercial vehicle segment. The strategy of Tata is to be seen.
RE60 versus Current Competitors.
The RE60 is expected to deliver 24kmpl in cities and 35kmpl on the highways (we cannot consider the highway mileage figure as per the government statement that it won’t be allowed to ply on the highways).
It would attain the top speed of 70kmph. When viewed at the commercial aspect of it, it would be very beneficial to the last minute travelers, who are dependent on conventional rickshaws.
The RE60 is criticized to be non-compliant with what the current four-wheeler safety norms are. But for practical purposes, it is easily conclusive that having doors and solid roof is safer than the rickshaws which do not have doors, and are surrounded by iron grills. Although Bajaj is yet to upload the official details of the machine, the “car-like” structure would mean safer travel.
Good chance for startups.
Purchasing a low cost four wheeler is easier compared to purchasing a conventional cab. Tier II cities still do not have a good transport infrastructure. This has the potential of formation of new startups aiming to capture the transport market in such urban areas.
This would also help reduce the burden on consumers, as they are heavily charged by private rickshaws. Public transport has a good market beyond major cities like Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune etc. It depends how the market reacts to the inclusion of new Quadricycle, and how it is implemented.
The traveler’s opinion…
The New inclusion of a public transport is a boon for last minute travelers. Especially those who live in the outskirts, where Rickshaw owners call for awkwardly high prices.
I still feel the issue of non-compliance of meter system in the outskirts is of more concern than inclusion of a safer vehicle. The reasons by rickshaw owners in the outskirts range from Increase in petrol prices (even if I sometimes see the machine runs on diesel), to non-availability of “return passengers” to that area, again an impossible scenario if I want a ride towards the railway station or airport, where more people are bound to travel outskirts.
I would hope the government makes the meter usage mandatory for the new Quadricycle, to make it convenient for passengers. Then again, hoping that Quadricycle drivers do not throw a reason of paying the huge EMI costs as they “recently brought” this new vehicle.
What is your take on this new mode of public transport..