Farewell to the city with smokeless bikes
It has been a while since there is no news of orange bicycles in the city; The CEO of this company says that the non-issue of permits and the unprofessional attitude of the municipality and the non-responsiveness of this institution have caused Bidoud, which recently had more than five thousand bicycles and was valued at 140 billion Tomans, to stop its activity.
As a startup provider of shared bicycles, Bidood started its activity in Tehran in 2017 and a year after that, it also offered its services to Shiraz. Now, after four years of activity, Hossein Ghasemi, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Bidood, has announced the end of this startup and told Tejarat News that he had problems with city managers from the beginning:
“Managers in Tehran and Shiraz municipalities caused many problems for this service in both cities due to lack of sufficient knowledge in this field, and excessive delays and personal opinions far from collective wisdom caused such problems.”
These problems have been the main reason for the city to say goodbye to smokeless bicycles: “Unfortunately, they did not pay the subsidies, during the time of the previous deputy of transportation, they announced in a meeting that a contract should be written within a week and the contract would be signed within two weeks. They even announced in the live part of TV news that they plan to expand the services of Biddud, but it didn’t take long for Biddud to be closed.”
The citizens of Tehran and Shiraz have probably noticed the absence of smoke in the city for several months. There are no more smoke-free parking lots with orange roofs on the streets, and no one rides the bikes of this company. The managing director of Tehran and Shiraz municipality, Bidod, has been identified as the cause of the shutdown of this startup:
“The municipalities of Tehran and Shiraz have closed Bidood, and the only thing we could do was to send a letter to the president. Because 1401 is the year of knowledge-based and we are level one knowledge-based. Of course, sending this letter did not have any results: “The letter was referred to the Ministry of Interior, and the Vice President of Transportation and the President gave a special order on it. The Ministry of Interior also notified the inspection organization and the village councils of the country’s municipalities. Several meetings were held with the presence of the city council and municipalities of Tehran and Shiraz, the representative of the presidency and the representative of the Ministry of Interior; Even in these meetings, the amounts and contracts have been determined and signed. But neither Tehran nor Shiraz have reached an agreement yet, and no one is accountable.”
In this way, the startup, which according to Ghasemi’s statement, “was valued at around 140 billion Tomans according to the latest estimates”, was ultimately unable to continue its activities. The stoppage of Bedoud’s wheels made 150 people lose their jobs: “Bidoud adjusted its 150 employees, which were about 500 people with their families. “The forces that were working with high knowledge and scientific level, but now our team has only four personnel who maintain the system.”
With the closure of Bidud, five thousand bicycles of this collection will also leave Tehran. He complained about this forced departure and explained: “I was an investor and an entrepreneur who started a startup with my team and partners and we tried to make Tehran and Iran a better place to live. But we were faced with an unprofessional and personal look and leaving the verbs.”
He believes that “due to the huge difference in knowledge they have with the private sector and young people, public managers cannot fill the gaps and are lagging behind the knowledge of the day, and because of this, they cause irreparable damage to investors.”
This happened at a time when shared bicycles are being considered in the world as a solution to deal with air pollution and reduce the problem of traffic in big cities and are available to citizens. Despite the belief of some experts that Tehran’s roads are unsuitable for cycling and the criticisms of smokeless bicycles, now the problem is that this service has reached the end of its journey without any response from the authorities and only with actions such as not issuing permits, causing a waste of capital. And more than a hundred people from the workforce of this startup have lost their jobs.