‘Cycling not a preferred option to commute in city’

Urban commute:The study — ‘The factors influencing bicycling in Bangalore city’ — says the most popular means of public transport in Bengaluru are autorickshaws, BMTC buses and Namma Metro. File Photo  

Cycling was a lot of fun, but during childhood. As adults, it is simply ‘uncool’: this is apparently what most Bengalureans feel about one of the cheapest, most eco-friendly modes of transport, even as they complain about traffic-choked roads. Even the weather and the kind of clothes to be worn play a role in whether they would hop on to a bicycle.

A study by Prof. Ashish Verma and his team from the Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Science (IISc.), in collaboration with M.S. Ramaiah Institute of Management, Bengaluru and the Architecture and Regional Planning department, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur; showed why Bengalureans are not opting for the humble bicycle as their preferred mode of transport.

The team surveyed 522 people from a broad range of income groups spread across Yelahanka, Sanjaynagar, Malleswaram, Vijayanagar and J.P. Nagar.

The study — ‘The factors influencing bicycling in Bangalore city’ — said the most popular means of public transport in the city are autorickshaws, BMTC buses and Namma Metro.

“Most of the respondents indicated their most frequent journey as commute to work, and almost all the people (96.1 per cent) indicated they had cycled in the childhood,” said the study. However, as they grew up, cycling turned into a less attractive activity. At the same time, motorised modes of transport were seen not only as a natural progression, but also as a sign of prosperity. The study revealed that safety concerns, as also the lack of infrastructure for cyclists, are deterrents. “There is a direct need for bringing awareness among the people that in countries like Netherlands and Germany, even rich people use bicycles instead of motorised vehicles to commute. Providing separate lanes, separate signals and separate parking facilities for easy movement would encourage people to use bicycles,” the study said.

The study also highlights the importance of integrating cycling with BMTC and Namma Metro services by providing secured cycle parking facilities at every station.

H ighlights of the study

- During childhood, people had a more positive perception about cycling. As they grew up, their disposition towards motorised modes increased and they started finding cycling an uncool option.

- People thought it is a natural process to shift to motorised vehicles as they grew up. There is perception that shifting to motorised vehicles is a sign of prosperity.

- People are more particular about inconveniences such as travel time, weather conditions and clothes worn.

- Currently, people are more concerned about safety due to lack of separate lanes and signals, and sceptical about the existing parking facilities for bicycle riders

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Printable version | Sep 19, 2021 2:22:34 AM |

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