Not a smooth ride

Not a smooth ride

At first glance, a bicycle service at the Metro station may seem the way perfect to cover short distances.

But with hardly any lanes available for cyclists in the City, this new scheme by the BMRCL might not be of much use. The service has been started at a couple of Metro stations — like the one at MG Road. Bicycles have been lined up near the boulevard and anyone who wants to rent one can do so.

A fee of Rs 1,000 will be charged as a refundable registration amount and the cycles will be given free of cost for the first one hour. The customer will then be charged Rs 10 for every hour of use.

The amount will be deducted from the smart card of the customer, says a customer care official at the BMRCL.Bangaloreans say that while this is a thoughtful move, there are various loopholes in the initiative that have to be rectified.

“If Bangalore has to be made a green, bicycle-friendly city, the government has to take many initiatives. Most importantly, there should be bicycle lanes everywhere, especially on the major roads of the City. Providing bicycles will not be beneficial if cyclists don’t have any place to navigate,” says Prakash, who occasionally cycles to work.

Mayank, who is a regular cyclist, says that this move will help only a small group of
people. He agrees that the government needs to focus on the needs of cyclers before implementing such initiatives.

“First and foremost, cyclists prefer to use lanes with plenty of shade. But with this arbitrary cutting of trees, who would want to go for a ride? Secondly, if all the roads are jammed with cars and two-wheelers, which may run us down any moment, how will cyclists be safe? The government should channelise its resources into completing the Metro work before introducing bicycle services,” he explains.

However, there a few who believe that it is a good idea and will encourage people to make an effort to cycle. Yateesh Kumar, an IT professional who cycles to work everyday, says that though traffic is a problem, this idea might just find takers. “People can either cycle to their workplace or simply go for a ride. I feel it is very encouraging for Bangaloreans,” he says.

Lavanya, who is also a regular cyclist, feels this is a good alternative. “It is, at least, a start — seeing the cycles will force people to think in that direction. But yes, sometimes it is hazardous and I would like the government to take some steps to ensure the safety of the cyclists,” she sums up.

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