'Pool cycle' to pedal into City

Last Updated 19 December 2009, 19:57 IST

The Union Ministry of Urban Development is planning to introduce the concept of “pool cycle” in the Garden City.

As envisaged by the ministry, the pool cycle system will be operated by private agencies and NGOs. The ministry will fund them to procure bicycles to operate the service.

Bicycles will be stationed at important points like bus stands, parks and shopping areas. Paying a nominal fee, anyone can take a bicycle for a short-distance ride and park it in a designated area.

The agency which gives bicycles on hire can also display advertisements on them to earn revenue. The agency will have to own and maintain bicycles.

“If the agency is able to earn more revenue through displaying advertisements, the government may ask it to provide bicycles to the public without charging any fee, ” a senior official in the Urban Development Ministry said.

“The pool cycle system, which exists in France, is being tried out in Bangalore on a pilot basis,” the official said.

If the project turns out to be successful, it will be implemented in other cities also.
The agency will provide identity cards to regular commuters and all the bicycles will be fitted with GPS system to track their  movements.

“Suppose a person wants to go for shopping travelling a distance of one kilometre, he can hire a bicycle instead of using his bike,” the official said.

As the ministry wants to implement this idea in association with the BBMP, it will also rely upon the civic agency to make separate bicycle tracks on select roads and provide space for parking in major areas.

As one agency will be given licence in one area, it should ensure that its bicycles move in that particular area only.

An NGO in Bangalore has already come forward to join this initiative and the ministry has asked it to submit a proposal in this regard, the sources said.

“As the bicycle is a pollution-free vehicle, which also helps the riders to keep physically fit, the government wants to encourage this mode of travelling,” Ramachandran, Secretary, Urban Development Ministry, told Deccan Herald.

(Published 19 December 2009, 19:57 IST)

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