Unique Green Initiative: Kolkata Gets Dedicated Bicycle Track, Rental Cycles Planned

Bicycle. Picture for representative purposes only. Picture Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons.

Public rent-a-bicycle scheme to be implemented in township.

Imagine the convenience of being able to walk into a dedicated bicycle track, and renting a GPS-enabled bicycle. Taking a cue from Amsterdam, and based on suggestions by IIT-Kharagpur, the New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NDKA) has set up grade-separated dedicated bicycle tracks in two stretches.

The public ‘rent-a-bicycle’ system will be operated by a private partner, selected through a transparent process.

Bicycle Track. Picture for representative purposes only. Picture Courtesy: Pixabay.
Bicycle Track. Picture for representative purposes only. Picture Courtesy: Pixabay.
An NKDA official informed the Times of India, “We prefer bicycles that will follow the dockless model of being GPS-enabled so that users can track it. NKDA will only charge a minor parking fee for using any of the designated parking lots. Users will have to pay a nominal charge to the service providers”.
Multiple options are being explored as to how these cycles may be hired. One system is app-based, and another is mobile-wallet based. The user would be able to access and use the cycle and leave it in any public place, within the limits of the township after riding.

Dedicated bicycle tracks are a significant step toward encouraging cycling as a preferable mode of transport. If the authorities can provide dedicated pathways for cyclists, it will definitely push more people to give up burning fuel, and choose cycling — a clean mode of transport that doesn’t leave a carbon footprint!

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