By Beste Şensöz
TUMI’s E-Rickshaw Project is becoming a promising response to the COVID-19 outbreak in Bangladesh
As a result of the Coronavirus outbreak and necessary response, several mobility-based adaptation examples are being observed worldwide in recent weeks. The E-Rickshaws project, which had been launched by the city of Singra, Bangladesh, supported by TUMI, is one of these encouraging examples.
Based on the information provided by the city of Singra, public transportation, restaurants, shops, and other non-essential businesses have been suspended. People are instructed only to leave their homes for daily basic needs or in case of emergencies.
Therefore, the mayor Md. Zannatul Fercdous has spearheaded an effort to use the E-Rickshaws for both protection of its own staff as well as to address the current emergency. The TUMI vehicles have been deployed to supply much-needed food to the public as part of the “home delivery system” in Singra. The project also shows a notable example for other transport-based projects and how they can be adapted and developed as part of emergency action plans, such as in the coronavirus outbreak.
The TUMI E-Rickshaws project was successfully completed in February 2020, and the operations were running better each day. However, the reduced demand for public transportation due to the coronavirus outbreak has now affected the use of E-Rickshaws, which threaten the drivers’ existence as well as the damage to batteries due to low usage.
This is how the system works: Using a telephone hotline, the residents of Singra place their food orders. The products are then purchased and delivered to their doorstep by the TUMI vehicles. The driver is responsible for providing the products and receiving the money of the products. The service is delivered by the Singra municipality team, headed by Mr. Binayak Chakraborty and the city team. TUMI is proud to support this initiative!
This new service enables the following three main aims
1. People have access to staple food products
2. A way to avoid unnecessary trips & secure social distancing
3. Use of the vehicles will ensure the longevity of batteries
Find the video that shows the new service here.
Other aspects that Singra Municipality is fighting against Covid-19, as reported by Binayak K. Chakraborty
1. The municipality distributed leaflets to ever household that include important information on coronavirus and measures to be taken.
2. The municipality started to make masks by hiring some women workers. 1600 masks were distributed to the inhabitants free of cost.
3. Two quarantine centers were identified within the scope of the emergency.
4. All shopping stores and restaurants, except groceries and pharmacies, were closed.
5. Free food distribution service was provided for low-income people.
6. The mayor declared to waiver the rent of Municipal Market for March & April 2020.
Background of the project: The project was developed upon the application of Singra Municipality to the TUMI Global Urban Mobility Challenge in 2018. Moreover, it aimed to offer a mutual solution responding to two different problems regarding the ambulance and public transport system in the region. Therefore, the project was addressed as part of the local public transport system and a free emergency health service that includes access to medical care for citizens. While the promotion of affordable and eco-friendly public transportation has been prioritized through the project, the following subjects were also covered:
1. Construction of a garage that can provide for safe and efficient charging to improve battery sustainability
2. Modern management of newly introduced e-Rickshaws
3. New employment and revenue income opportunities for the municipality and its citizens.
Find more information on the TUMI Challenge Project in Singra here.