Metro rail commuters to get the pedal power

They can hire GPS-enabled bicycles at all stations

Under a Union government decision, metro rail corporations have to set up GPS-enabled bicycle sharing facilities at all metro stations on the lines of Velib in Paris to promote green and clean transport in urban areas. The committee of secretaries on Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) headed by Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrashekar recently also decided that the metro rail corporations should offer facilities like cycle stands, ticketing systems and exclusive cycle track on approach roads to stations.

Under the proposed system, if a metro commuter wants to hire a bicycle from a metro station he has to buy a smart card and ride the bicycle from the station to a designated stand or vice versa. As all cycles are GPS-fitted, their movement could be tracked, sources in the Union urban development ministry which is spearheading MRTS told Deccan Herald.

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) introduced the bicycle hire facility called ‘rent-a-cycle’ in 2007 and it became a huge hit among commuters. The corporation proposes to extend the scheme to another 70 stations from the existing 20 under public private partnership. It will provide parking areas at metro stations while private companies have to provide the cycles and collect rent.

The urban development ministry has written to all the states to encourage the use of bicycles especially in urban areas and asked them to ensure that all roads have bicycle tracks. The recent interest in cycling is also fuelled by the National Urban Transport Policy unveiled by the ministry, which calls for promotion of non-motorised transport including bicycles in India’s cities. Even in Bus Rapid Transport ( BRT) corridors coming up in all major cities, having separate cycle tracks is mandatory.

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