These Metro riders pedal last mile

These Metro riders pedal last mile

These Metro riders pedal last mile

Lugging their foldable bicycles to Namma Metro coaches, pedalling that last mile to their offices, four Bengalureans have just shown why this multi-modal mix is eminently workable.

Their Metro-Cycle ride is today a daily option, a routine they perfected in four months flat.  On Tuesday evening, Vijayanagar resident Kamala Lochana was at it again. As the Purple Line coach chugged into Indiranagar station, Lochana was ready with his bicycle, neatly folded after a 4.5-km ride. In 12 minutes, he had covered that distance from his office on Intermediate Ring Road, Indiranagar, much quicker than a 25-minute bus commute.

Over the last four months, Lochana had finetuned his routine. Five days a week, he would start cycling from home and board the Purple Line’s first station at Nayandahalli. “It has become my workout too. I prefer Nayandahalli since the train is not crowded there. I always take the first coach,” he told DH.

Lochana has good company in colleague Sathish Belawadi, who commutes between Indiranagar and Attiguppe every day. For Sathish too, the ride till his Chandra Layout home is a veritable cocktail of exercise, fuel-saving and eco-friendliness.

Joining the duo in their unique journey are software engineers Reshmi and Manish, who alight at the SV Road station and pedal to their offices in Mahadevapura. The quartet, in their collective urge to disrupt traditional mode mixtures of transport, might just have achieved something dramatic: Rekindled the love for cycling in a year that ought to be dedicated to the bike.

Exactly 200 years ago, German inventor Karl Drais had saddled a strange two-wheeled creation and riden it in public. Two centuries later, the Bengaluru quartet’s folded bicycles, neatly strapped to the corner of a Metro train should remind everyone that the most eco-friendly vehicle known to man is still in currency.

Lochana was oblivious to this piece of history. But he was sure the daily sight of his bike on the Metro would inspire many others to follow suit, explore cycling as the perfect mode to conquer the last mile. In four months, he had proved it was possible without any hassles.

But wouldn’t the hyper-crowded Majestic interchange station pose a big challenge to Lochana and his fellow Metro cyclists? He agrees that sticking to the Green or Purple line would be the best bet.

However, he has a suggestion for the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation: “Why not reserve a slot or two for cyclists like us in one coach of every train? This would ensure that other passengers are not inconvenienced in any way.”