Jun 25, 2016

Get off the metro, pedal to work on cycle

The joy of zipping past vehicles on the city's traffic-choked roads on the metro comes to an abrupt stop at your station. Then, you have to figure out how to get to your destination.

But a section of commuters will soon be able to hop on to a bicycle at the station, head to work on a dedicated cycle track and return the cycle on the way back.

As a pilot project, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is building a dedicated cycle track on the pavement from Baiyappanahalli Metro Station to the nearby RMZ Infinity, a tech park where over 10,000 employees work. The cycle track will be one kilometre long.

H.R. Murali, of Namma Cycle, who is coordinating between cycling enthusiasts, RMZ Infinity and civic agencies, said that they are working on a public sharing system to make around 200 bicycles available at Baiyappanahalli Metro Station and RMZ Infinity.

“Both RMZ Inifinity and Namma Metro are very supportive. We will put up a smart card-based system where commuters can hop on to a cycle from metro station, cycle to work and park it there. On their way back, they can pick up another cycle and commute to the metro station,” he said.

Ajay T. Seetharam, a software engineer with Google and a cycle enthusiast, said that an informal survey in the tech park revealed that while metro commuters are interested in a cycle track, others had expressed interest in shifting to metro if they got a safe cycle track for last-mile connectivity.

“RMZ Foundation has promised to partner in the initiative and provide space for parking cycles,” he said. “Our survey has revealed that at least 2,000 people working in RMZ Infinity commute by metro every day,” added Mr. Murali.

Basavaraj Kabade, Executive Engineer, Traffic Engineering Cell, BBMP, said that the cycle track will be on the pedestrian pavement rather than the road, like cycle tracks built earlier across the city. “This will avoid encroachment of cycle tracks for parking cars and other vehicles. Work has been taken up as part of the signal-free corridor project. We will be providing a two-metre wide pedestrian pathway and a two-metre wide cycle track,” he said. Work is expected to be completed in another three months.

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