With an aim to give a push to sustainable last-mile connectivity, the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) is installing bicycle holders in its buses to help those who would like to cycle to their destination after de-boarding.
BMTC Chairman N.S. Nandiesha Reddy told The Hindu that the stands would initially be deployed in around 100 buses running along the proposed cycle tracks, but the plan is to extend this facility to all the buses in the city.
“This concept exists in some countries. We are running a trial, but it should work. We are doing it on the Outer Ring Road in the first phase, but eventually we want all buses to have a cycle stand. We are starting with two stands in the front. Later, depending on the response, we may install two more at the back,” he said.
Work on 25 buses is on, and more will be readied in batches of 25, Mr. Reddy said. The cost is ₹14,000 per bus, which will reduce further as more are produced. “Our mechanical team is working on it.”
Bengaluru’s Bicycle Mayor Sathya Sankaran termed it a very good start, which will ensure that the bus goes to the house of the passenger, without actually doing so.
“With the kind of traffic we have now, if all buses have these stands, it will mean nearly 24,000 cycles on the roads – a sizeable number. But in the long run, large-scale safe and secure parking lots in TTMCs should be added and enable passengers to pay using smart cards for parking and ticket. With no traceability, secure park is now a necessity, but there is technology. This will help a lot,” he said.
At present, foldable bicycles are allowed on the metro and Volvo buses, but ownership of such cycles is not huge, he added. He also suggested subsidising fares to incentivise to encourage them.
“BMTC and BMRCL should seriously invest in integrating shared bicycles. Apart from cycle lanes, on shared lanes, traffic calming methodology can be applied by introducing speed limit on local streets, apart from dedicating less travelled streets for walking and cycling. Now is the opportunity to hold on to at least some of the lockdown gains,” he said.
The government is keen to expand this to other parts of the State. Transport Minister Laxman Savadi on August 15 said that depending on the response from the public, the facility will provided even in other districts.