Bicycle sharing system may take off next week

Bicycle sharing system may take off next week

Graphic by ramu

Love to take Metro ride, but worried about first and last mile connectivity? Then get ready to peddle as Namma Metro will soon offer free parking space for bicycles under public bicycle sharing (PBS) system, which is likely to be launched next week.

Department of Urban Land Transport (Dult) special officer N Murali Krishna said two companies, Peddl and Yulu, have expressed readiness for a formal launch by October 10.

“The government will decide on the launch date. Two players will deploy 1,000 bicycles in two clusters identified for the first phase,” he said.

Dult has divided Bengaluru into eight clusters of 10 sq km each, and two clusters have been selected in the first phase. Cluster 1 includes a network of MG Road-Museum Road-Indiranagar-Ulsoor-Old Airport Road area network comes.

Most of the HSR Layout-BTM Layout areas come under Cluster 2.

Krishna said the department has identified and geo-tagged parking spaces in the two areas and similar work was being taken up in other parts of the city, which will get PBS in the next phases.

“Three more companies have expressed interest, and their qualification will be decided in the next two weeks. The PBS can be extended to other areas once they come into play,” he added.

Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) has demarcated space for bicycles in 40 Metro stations. Those who hire PBS bicycles can park them for free in these spots, which will be suggested on the app of the respective service provider.

“The parking space has been identified based on accessibility and convenience of passengers. By becoming part of PBS network, we will address some of the challenges in last-mile connectivity,” BMRCL Managing Director Ajay Seth said.

Cycle tracks not ready

While the PBS is envisioned to play a major role in the coming years by complimenting Metro, suburban rail and bus network, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has not been able to build the 130 km cycle track.

According to officials so far, cycle track work has been completed in only small stretches of roads in the central business district and HSR Layout.

“The idea of a complete cycle track is possible only if other agencies and private parties do not dig up the road. TenderSure project can deliver such roads,” a senior official said.

However, a DULT official said mere cycle track network was not sufficient, but other vehicles on certain roads should also be restricted.

“Changes in policy are needed to ban and restrict cars and motorbikes on some roads. Strict enforcement to ensure bikes do not enter cycle tracks is essential,” he said.