MG ROAD: Bengaluru has a hundred cycle docking stations along the Metro route, only a small number is using it.
Kerberon Automations, a green technology start-up, had introduced the stations in collaboration with the BBMP and the Directorate of Urban Land Transport.
The objective was to connect commuters between Metro stations, and provide an eco-friendly alternative to autos and private vehicles.
The public cycle-sharing system, formally called Automated Tracking and Control of Green Assets, was launched as a pilot in October 2011 with just three docking stations; two on MG Road and one on Brigade Road. It was later extended to cover all functioning Metro stations.
Each docking station has an automated machine where users can swipe their membership card and unlock a cycle from the dock.
Two years after the project was implemented, the number of members registered has gone up to 1,300, but only about 65 people use it regularly.
Kerberon wants to make it possible for more people to access the cycles. “It was a pilot project. The network should widen. The docking stations are now restricted only to Metro stations, but the BBMP should consider widening the network with more such stations,” says Syed Haseeb Arfath, Managing Director of Kerberon Automations.
Krithika Yadav, freelance architect, says “It’s a very good initiative to help the city march towards a greener tomorrow. But I feel this will work even better only when their network is widened”.
Aayushi Sinha, software engineer, feels cycling can help commuters beat traffic jams. “It’s a good thing. It is time-saving in a city like Bengaluru where the traffic is a huge issue”.
Interior decorator Rajesh P Nayak mostly gets about the city on his cycle, and says there are many like him. “They cycle to work,” he says.
And these active cyclists mostly prefer to use their own cycles. “And renting works best on big campuses like the IISc, where there isn’t much traffic.”
But on busier roads, like the ones on which where the Metro stations, cyclists don’t feel so confident, he says.
Mallikarjun, software engineer, hasn’t noticed too many docks. “I would definitely use them if I could see them where I go about. I would be even happier if the service were not restricted just to the Metro stations,” he said.
How to Pedal Away
You can register at the Metro station on MG Road by paying a refundable deposit of Rs 1,000. That gets you a membership card. Swipe the smart card to pick up a cycle from any of the 100 docking stations across the city. The first hour is free, and the rent is Rs 10 an hour for each subsequent hour. The amount is deducted from the card. It is mandatory to have a balance of Rs 500 on the card.