NEW DELHI: With an aim to provide pollution- free last-mile connectivity to its commuters, the DMRC today launched the city's "first" public bicycle sharing scheme, which would allow people to seamlessly reach their destination via the metro rail.
The eco-friendly project, inaugurated from the Saket Metro Station in south Delhi, seeks to provide connectivity to and from the metro stations in areas in its vicinity.
As per the start of this scheme, a bicycle shelter has been built in Neb Serai area, neighbouring the station at Saket, from where commuters can hire any cycle and then ride it to the station and leave it there, as a bicycle shelter has also been provided at the metro.
The DMRC has already been running a 'hire-a-cycle' scheme from its Vishvavidyalaya Station in last six years in partnership with city-based private firm Greenolution, and the project launched today follows from the "good response" received by it from people.
"The idea is to provide last-mile connectivity for our commuters, besides the 193 km-long (metro) rail network that we operate in the city.
"So passengers who hired cycles from Neb Serai, and are getting down at Vishvavidyalaya Station, can again hire another cycle there and ride to say the Delhi University or other nearby areas and follow the same pattern on their way back," Executive Director (Corporate Communications) Anuj Dayal said.
Commuters willing to use the service need to either register online or visit the nearby metro station where the facility is available and deposit their forms, following which a smart card will be issued to them.
The project, Dayal said, would be expanded to few other metro stations in next three months. "It would involve software-driven automation and will be a cashless transaction."
"Two bicycle shelters have also been opened at Hauz Khas and Akshardham metro stations along with Saket. And, in next three months we will bring the facility at Shastri Park (two shelters), Dwarka Sector-14 and M G Road also.
"Unlike the facility at Vishvavidyalaya Station, where the same cycle has to be returned. Now, any cycle can be picked up, parked at our shelters and a another can be picked up and returned," he said. Such bicycle schemes are quite popular in European and Scandinavian countries and our idea is also to promote eco-friendly policies, Dayal added.
As part of its last-mile connectivity, DMRC has been running 200 metro feeder buses and about 300 more such buses will soon be added to its fleet, Dayal said.
He said that by introduction of metro trains, the pressure on the environment has been significantly reduced, both in terms of vehicular traffic and pollutants discharged.
"Because of use of metro, 1.17 lakh vehicles are not plying in the streets, the fuel consumption too has been reduced 1.6 tonne per day.
Besides, saving time, 28 minutes for each commuter, metro use has also averted 111 fatal deaths and 591 accidents," Dayal said.
Officials at Greenolution said, the scheme will also provide a Rs 1 lakh insurance to each rider and a wi-fi facility would also be made available among a small group of users at our shelters.
The cycles have been provided by Hero Cycles and each cost about Rs 4,500, an official said.
"We will also have the shelter barricaded with grill and locked for safety of property at night," the official said.
DDA is also contemplating of introducing public bicycle sharing scheme in Dwarka.