Mumbai: No track yet, but BMC wants you to cycle
Civic body is planning to launch a Public Bicycle Sharing (PBS) system that failed to take off in Pune
The BMC may have failed to build cycle tracks in the city, but it is still finding ways to encourage the use of bicycles, as part of its green initiative. Next on its agenda is introducing an app-based Public Bicycle Sharing (PBS) system, which will be implemented through private operators, supplying electric cycles and cycle stands.
The BMC had started work on a R450-crore-cycle track project along the Tansa pipeline, which was supposed to completed by December 2018. The project was to be completed in three phases, but it didn't take off. Plan for a dedicated cycle track along Marine Drive was also stalled. Even the MMRDA failed to start operation on a 13 km-long cycle track in Bandra Kurla Complex that was built at a cost of R6.5 crore in 2011. The track wasn't getting any response and the authorities decided to shut it down in 2016.
While there are no cycle tracks in sight, the civic administration has decided to go ahead and launch the PBS system. The system was initiated in Pune in 2018, and initially received a good response (5 to six rides per cycle). However, the system collapsed due to vandalism. Currently, Navi Mumbai has a similar system in place, but the cycles are used for joy rides.
A proposal has been passed in the general body meeting and will be implemented through private operators. As per the proposal, commuters can take an e-bike or pedal cycle with an automatic lock system from one stand and park it at another.
The civic body is trying to make at least one lakh bikes available in the first phase. The BMC's 24 wards will select locations for parking stands. The cost per ride will be declared later.
Asif Zakaria, corporator and cycling enthusiast, said that while he would support the initiative, a proper study needs to be undertaken before implementation of the project. "The roads and infrastructure of the city are not suitable for riding bicycles," he said.
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