The easy way forward

Alternative transport

The easy way forward
Despite having a fitness-focussed crowd, Bengaluru hasn’t taken to cycling as much as it should have. And much of this apathy is helped by the bad roads or the infrastructure that is not cyclist-friendly.
   
However, the State budget came out with a proposal to introduce a Public Bicycle Sharing (PBS) system that will encourage non-motorised transport, especially for short distances.

Sathya Sankaran, a member of Bengaluru Coalition for Open Streets, says that such a move can catalyse the growth of cycling. “The availability of cycles will encourage people to use this mode of transport,” he says.

To sustain the system, there will have to be better infrastructure which would include traffic-calmed streets (streets with speed limits) and separate cycle lanes on roads like Outer Ring Road, he adds.

Though cycles were seen around Metro stations earlier, the implementation needs further planning. Dasarathi GV, an entrepreneur who cycles often, says that the move will be a good one for ‘last mile commuting’ but the concept needs to be analysed more.

“If I take a bicycle from a Metro station, then it will be lying at my place until I step outdoors again, which is not a feasible option. The pricing has to be in such a way that it works for everyone,” he says.

Especially compared to other cities, Dasarathi says that non-motorised transport is the need of the hour in Bengaluru. But he feels that cycle-rickshaws would be a better option. “There are many who are apprehensive about cycling and this isn’t a solution for everyone.”

Lack of parking spaces is another reason to encourage this practice, says Sunil Bhat, an IT manager who cycles
often.
   
“The pollution levels would drop and cycling will also prove to be  an economical mode of travel,” he says. Sunil adds that such a move might also help to decongest the roads.

The system will have a proper structure in a few months and would most probably be brought into effect within a year, says Darpan Jain, Commissioner, Directorate of Urban Land Transport.

“We are still figuring out the details, including the different spots where we want to bring this into effect. The docking stations would be around parks and open spaces, colleges, government establishments, BMTC and BMRCL stations.”

The system will include a network of docking stations from where people can take a bicycle and drop it off at the next one and smart card that will compute the time and payment. “This decision would be a big step ahead to encourage non-motorised transport,” he adds.

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