Bike, cycle-sharing to begin at 15 railway stations

Bike, cycle-sharing to begin at 15 railway stations

Cycles . Photo by S K Dinesh

In a boon to commuters, the railways has now opened its doors to two-wheeler and bicycle-sharing service providers at 15 stations.

Last week, the first bike-sharing service was inaugurated by South Western Railway general manager Ajay Kumar Singh at Yelahanka railway station. This comes as a big relief for commuters who were forced to use their own vehicles for first and last-mile connectivity.

Bounce, the operator providing the service, has announced plans to set up shop at 13 stations in the city, including Bellandur, Banaswadi, Hoodi Halt, Byappanahalli, Krishnarajapuram, Bengaluru East and Bengaluru Cantonment. Providing such services even in areas like Malleswaram will help those travelling by suburban trains from residential areas.

Meanwhile, Railways has received a positive response for its tender seeking expression of interest from private operators for bicycle-sharing services. Senior officials said they were in discussion with Yulu and a decision is likely in the next few days.

“The EoI is for 15 stations. This involves looking into details like the identification of the parking space for service providers. We are in discussions with Yulu and will come up with a decision within a matter of a few days,” a senior official said.

Bounce has given parking space at two entrances in the 13 stations, to pick up or drop off Bounce bikes. Officials said similar arrangements will be made for bicycle-sharing systems as well.

Parking of private vehicles at railway stations, especially for long-duration, has turned costly ever since the railways hiked the fee in September 2017. While the two-wheeler parking fee has gone up from Rs 20 per day to Rs 50, those parking cars can be charged up to Rs 300, depending on the number of hours.