KOCHI: Taking a second shot at popularising the futuristic public bicycle-sharing plan, the Kochi Metro Rail Ltd (KMRL) has relaunched the programme under which commuters can use bicycles for free to travel short distances within the city limits. The facility will be available from Maharaja's College Metro Station to Edappally Metro station from Tuesday.
The programme was launched by KMRL managing director A P M Mohammed Hanish at the parking lot of MG Road Metro Station (Madhava Pharmacy Junction curve) on Monday. The initiative is being launched in association with Athi's Bicycle Club and sponsored by Kochi1 card. CPPR chairman Dhanu Raj and Athi’s Bicycle Club founder M S Athirup were present during the inaugural ride.
The facility will be made available at more Metro stations in the coming days. Though KMRL had introduced the programme last year, it had few takers. The cycles were kept at major locations at Menaka Jn (opposite the Gateway Hotel), near KTDC on Vivekananda Road (next to Ernakulam South Railway station entrance), Ernakulam North Railway station (underneath the bridge), Kaloor (opposite the private bus stand) and on Kaloor-Kadavanthra Road. However, the tepid response from the public meant the cycles remained largely unused.
To avail the facility, one has to enrol in a membership programme and the member has to send a text message while taking and returning the bicycles. The bicycles can be taken from any rack and returned to any rack. After returning the bicycle to the rack, the member should ensure it is locked.
The bicycles can be used free of cost for up to 100 hours every month and the usage will automatically get blocked beyond 100 hours.
To avail the facility, SMS: rack code bicycle id to 9645511155. To register, SMS name*address*email-ID*profession to the same number. Helpline number: 9744011777. Website: www.abcpbs.in.