BENGALURU: Bicycles could soon emerge as the preferred option for short commute for Bengalureans with the state cabinet on Wednesday approving the Public Bicycle Sharing System project that would see the city’s landscape dotting with bicycle clusters or bicycle docking stations.
The project, estimated to cost Rs 80cr, envisages to offer about 6,000 bicycles on rental system covering the Central Business District and some of the residential layouts.
The bicycle clusters would come up on MG Road and surrounding areas, near Vidhana Soudha, in Indira Nagar, HBR layout, HRBR layout, Koramangala, Banasavadi and other places. The clusters would also be opened near Metro stations, bus terminals and commercial hubs to offer bicycles as a healthy and clean means of transport for short commute and last-mile connectivity.
Briefing the reporters on cabinet decisions , Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minster T B Jayachandra said the proposal is a budget promise of the Chief Minister and the success of a similar project in Mysuru has inspired the government to take it up a in big way in Bengaluru.
According to the project report prepared by the Directorate of Urban Land Transport (DULT), the bicycles would be GPS-equipped. The docking stations would be provided at about 500mts from one another.
Swipe cards would be introduced and bicycles can be hired using them. One just needs to use the swipe card which works on Radio Frequency Identification Technology to unlock the cycle and take it around. It need not be brought back to the same place and can be parked at any other docking station available near one’s destination.
Question over buses on lease for BMTC
The State cabinet’s decision to add 3,000 more buses to BMTC fleet to improve the public transport service in the city has raised a few questions. Instead of purchasing 3,000 new buses, it has now been decided to purchase 1,500 new buses and get 1,500 buses on lease from private transport operators.
The decision to procure 1,500 buses on lease has come as a surprise as the state government had cancelled a similar system which was prevalent earlier following allegations of huge financial irregularities benefiting the private operators who lease out their buses.
Leasing of 1,500 buses would cost Rs 77 cr annually for BMTC and the cabinet has agreed to provide government guarantee for raising Rs 80 cr loan for purchase of new buses. When asked on the need for getting the buses on lease, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister T B Jayachandra said that it would enable the government to procure the buses without immediate financial burden.
6,000 bicycles to be available on hire
Cycle docking stations in CBD, near Metro stations, bus terminals and many residential areas
Smart cards to be introduced for hiring cycles
Can hire cycles from any station and park them at any other station
Project to cost `80 crore