Riding bicycles is no longer just a doodhwala’s or paperwala’s choice of transport. Most of the people prefer pedalling cycles to riding bikes and driving cars owing to its multiple benefits.
Realising the health benefits it has and its contribution to the environment with zero pollution, there were talks among the government agencies over the alternative mode of transport which could not only meet the demands of the travellers but also be eco-friendly.
The Karnataka State Council for Science and Technology (KSCST) has recommended the use of non-motorised transport to reduce traffic congestion and the consequent noise pollution. The KSCST, which has submitted the findings of its study to Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB), said people should be encouraged to walk or use bicycles.
Perhaps taking a cue from Japan which strongly promotes bicycles as a means of transport for providing the last mile connectivity in urban areas, the heritage city also seems to have understood the importance and need of a green tomorrow as evident by its various green initiatives.
Adding to it, the city is only a few days away from becoming the first city in the country to have Public Bicycle Sharing (PBS) which would serve as a mode of transport for Mysureans and tourists visiting the city.
The city will have in all 430 single speed cycles and 20 multi-speed geared cycles will be made available. M/S Green Wheel Ride has bagged the tender to operate the facility. Initially, the bicycles will be made available only at six docking stations which will be extended to all 52 docking stations after six months. These docking stations will be located near tourist places, major markets, important places of city and colleges.
The facility named ‘Trin Trin’ allows the users to pick up and drop off a cycle from any of the 52 docking stations. To avail the facility, the users have to register themselves either through the website www.mytrintrin.com, Trin Trin registration centres or through Trin Trin mobile app. Those registered members will be provided a smart card which will have top up facility. Membership fee is Rs 250.
The total project cost Rs 20.50 crore out of which Rs 7.70 crore is the initial capital cost and the remaining Rs 12.80 crore is meant for operation and maintenance of the system for a period of six years. World bank, Directorate of Urban and Transport (DULT) and MCC have jointly funded the project.
“The move has been appreciated by a lot by Mysureans. The bicycle was once an important mode of transport and once ruled the roads here. Even today, people still use bicycles to commute locally. Once the PBS is streamlined, it is hoped that a large percentage travellers would choose bicycles as means of transport,” said Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) Commissioner Dr C G Betsurmath.
The MCC also hopes the more is the use of eco-friendly transportation, the better is for the city. “Mysuru enjoys fourth spot in less polluted cities in the world. The PBS could help the city in improving the rankings,” an MCC official said.
The Tokyo city in Japan is laying biking infrastructure on a big scale in order that bicycles emerge as the most popular choice for commuting by 2020. Tokyo has more than 120 km of biking lanes. The bicycle transport system is connected with the metro station wherein people using either of the mode of transportation could avail the other.
On similar lines, there are plans to integrate Mysuru’s PBS with KSRTC for the convenience of the people. Deputy Commissioner C Shikha said during the launch of ‘Trin Trin’ logo and website that the district administration was in talks with KSRTC over a tie-up enabling users to avail both bus and cycle facility with the same smart card. “The bicycle docking stations will be physically integrated with city bus services to enhance public convenience and encourage people to use bicycle sharing system,” she said, adding, “MCC is expected to get a revenue of Rs 4 crore annually through PBS.”
The bicycle sharing system was to be launched long back but, the MCC did not pursue the project despite identifying about 35 locations in Mysuru, Srirangapatna and Brindavan Gardens because of financial constraints.
Bicycle rentals in Goa are hugely popular among tourists there, particularly international tourists. Though such a scheme was started by Delhi Metro at select Metro stations, it has been a failure barring areas close to Delhi University.
Environment conscious and fitness freaks are excited over the launch of PBS and waiting to pedal their way to office and other places.
Bicycle sharing at Infosys
The software giant Infosys has remained an inspiration to many with its eco-friendly intra-campus bicycle culture. There are some 690 basic-model bicycles on Infosys Technologies’ 80-acre Bengaluru campus, which any employee can pick up from Point A to ride to Point B and drop off at a designated parking spot. There are around 1,000 cycles at its Mysuru campus sprawling over 335 acre.
Recently, there were talks on pursuing the “cycle tourism” plan with the Centre selecting the city under a pilot project to develop bicycle culture and encourage the use of cycles among tourists. Besides Mysuru, nine other Indian cities have been identified for building cycling infrastructure under the project aimed at promoting eco-friendly non-motorised transport for minimising carbon emissions.
Docking stations in Mysuru
St Philomena’s Church, Mysuru Zoo, Mall of Mysuru, Railway Station, DD Urs Road, Kukkarahalli Lake, Kalamandir, Karanji Lake, Jaganmohan Palace, KSRTC Bus Stand, Vity Bus Stand, Mysuru Palace, Regalis Hotel,
Viontikoppal, Akashavani, St Joseph’s School, Jayanagar MCC zone-2, Chamundi Hill Foothill, Chamundi Hill, Hardinge Circl;e, Directorate of Tourism, Govt Ayurvedic Hospital, Private Bus Stand, KSRTC Bus Depot, LIC Circle, Chamundi Vihar Layout, KR Mohalla, Saraswatipuram Fire Station, Ramaswamy Circle, Teresian College, Sangolli Rayanna Circle, T N Pura Circle, Mini Vidhana Soudha, Silk Factory Circle,
Ballal Circle, Tennis Court, DC Office, RTO Office, MUDA Office, Mathrumandali Circle, Lingayya Circle, Kukkarahalli Lake south gate, Seetha Vilas Chatra, JSS College Ooty Road, Dasappa Circle, Gun House circle, MCC office and SP office circle.