Bengaluru will soon have a Public Bicycle Sharing (PBS) system that will comprise nearly 4,000 bicycles and 350 docking points at regions with heavy influx of people.
In fact, according to the project proposal report by Directorate of Urban Land Transport (DULT), which currently awaits approval by state government, four metro stations falling under the Central Business District (CBD) are slated to get docking points where the GPS-equipped unisex bicycles can be parked or collected.
As mentioned in the DULT report, these points are likely to be located on or near Indiranagar, MG Road, Vidhana Soudha and Cubbon Park Metro stations and will have a perimeter of 12m in length and 3m to 4m in width.
The idea first cropped up during the budget speech of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah in March, where he proposed a scheme that would benefit commuters & travellers.
“The Phase-I of PBS, which could cost between ₹60 crore and ₹70 crore, plans to cover 20 sqkm of the city’s total area of 790 sqkm. The docking stations would be positioned within 300m to 500m of one another,” N Murali Krishna, special officer, DULT, told The New Indian Express.
Reportedly, various public locations, including BDA complexes, traffic and transit management centres, BBMP offices and areas in the vicinity of public parks have been identified through an internal survey.
“The plan now is to run the hiring scheme between 6am and 10pm though it could be increased up to 11pm in stations close to Metro stations if there is a demand for it,” Krishna said.
The PBS system will comprise the ‘Swipe card and take a cycle’ as proposed by DULT and plans on looping in stakeholders like BMRCL, BMTC and BBMP to administer the project.
Another DULT official elaborating on operations explained that bicycles can be hired with the availed swipe cards following online registration. Likewise, they can walk into any of the registration centres that are expected come up soon. Both ways, one will require their identity card for verification.
“One just needs to use the swipe card which works on Radio Frequency Identification Technology to unlock the vehicle 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,” he added.
A major factor to be kept in mind is that these cycles have to be returned after use and not to be taken home at night. “The whole idea is to make the bicycle readily available for others who want to make use of them,” Krishna said.
To encourage more users, the public can use the bicycle free of cost for up to one hour. “The cyclist will be charged ₹5 for every succeeding hour. The system is quite robust and the GPS keeps track of the movement of the bicycle. If a cycle is lost or stolen, it can be easily tracked,” he added.
They also have proposed for a redistribution vehicle that will cater to high demand and supply cycles to such docking stations.