HYDERABAD: The Hyderabad metro rail intends to offer 10,000 bicycles for metro users to pedal their way to various destinations once the trains start rolling. However, one question that bugs the public is whether or not the roads are fit enough for these bicycles. Bikers opine that for the initiative to succeed, adequate road safety measures need to be adopted, and dedicated roads for bikers, wherever possible, should be set up. “Its a good initiative but it’s unsafe to ride on the roads here and with no dedicated pathways for bicycles, I am not sure if this will succeed here.
It’s a good concept but our roads are ill-suited for bicycles,” said Madhav P, an IT techie who rides a bicycle to work. “The only roads where one can cycle without being afraid is at Gachibowli and Financial District,” he added. “There was a 2-km stretch for bicycle enthusiasts constructed in Cyberabad but later it gave way to an overhead footbridge.
The government had announced that bicycling paths will be constructed at Secunderabad, but nothing has happened so far,” said M Shravan, manager, Hyderabad Bikers Club. Speaking about the possibility of increasing the width of roads to create dedicated pathway for bicyclists, Vinod K Kanumala, chief functionary, Indian Federation of Road Safety, said: “There is no way they are going to increase the width of the road and create a dedicated pathway for bicyclists at this stage of the metro rail construction. They should have incorporated this into the metro rail plans.”
Lack of coordination
The lack of integration of mobility services is reportedly due to a weakened Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority (UMTA) under the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority. “There is no coordination between UMTA members. It was supposed to be the coordinating agency to ensure that all transport service is integrated, but it doesn’t have any power or authority,” opined Ananth Mariganthi, director of Hyderabad Urban Labs. “The power of a metro rail is that it is not governed by any government office, it’s a private entity that the state has some stake in. Effectively, metro officials get to decide what is good for it,” he added.
Service to be app based
HMR plans to bring in two types of bicycles for metro commuters — manual and electric. The GPS aided bike-sharing service will be app-based and the user will be making payments online. For a start, authorities plan to offer 100 bicycles on a pilot-basis and expand it further. So far, Miyapur, JNTU, KPHB, Kukatpally, Begumpet are few stations where service is expected to start. HMR has identified parking spaces for bicycles and are identifying spots to set up charging points for electric bicycles.
1,760 accidents till Sept 30
Data up to Sept 30 (fatal and non-fatal ) of Hyderabad traffic police recorded a total of 1,760 accident cases in the city
Number of cases where victims were on two-wheelers - 862
Number of cases where accused were on two-wheelers - 683