Public bike sharing in Chandigarh

In the first month after its introduction in the city, the public bicycle sharing (PBS) has garnered an impressive public response.

Launched on a pilot basis by the Chandigarh Smart City Limited (CSCL) on December 10 with only 225 cycles available at 25 docking stations, the PBS has now around 11,000 regular users. More than 15,000 people have downloaded the mobile app, Smart Bike.

Under the PBS, residents can rent cycles to commute through the city for ₹5- ₹10 for half an hour. They can also avail annual membership with one-time payment.

“We have received a positive response from city residents. People have travelled more than 35,000 km on the cycles of PBS, which has saved 11,617 tonnes in CO2 emissions. The cycles have been used for an aggregate of 4,840 hours,” said NP Sharma, chief general manager, CSCL.

The well-thought out location of docking stations, quality of cycles, city-wide network of cycle tracks, now night lighting being made available on these tracks, and higher awareness levels among residents can be credited for the success of the system, said Sharma.

1,250 cycles, 155 docking stations by May

In the next phase, by May this year, 1,250 cycles will be added and dockets will be increased from 25 to 155.

Currently, the 25 docking stations are spread across prominent locations in the city such as Rock Garden, High Court and Sukhna, PGIMER, Sectors 17, 22, 34, 35 and 43. In addition to these, “we will also introduce docking stations near people’s houses like adjacent vacant spaces near milk booths. This is expected to give further boost to the usage of the cycles,” added Sharma.

Of the 225 bicycles currently available, 100 are pedal-assisted electric bicycles (e-bikes). Learning from the usage pattern in the first month, the number of e-bikes will be increased to 75% in the next phase of installation.

In total, 5,000 bicycles will be provided in the city along with a network of 617 docking Stations spread throughout the city giving last mile connectivity to the users. “This size of the project will make it India’s largest and densest PBS network. The project will be developed in 4 phases of 1,250 cycles and 155 docking stations each, within a time span of 18 months, having the features of pedal assisted e-bikes along with the charging facility at the docking stations,” said Sharma.

All the bicycles are provided with GPS-enabled locking arrangement and will be monitored by a Command and Control Centre having 24×7 facility of helpline for users. The project is being implemented and operated by the concessionaire M/s Smart Bike Tech Private Limited, Hyderabad, for the period of 10 years on public private partnership (PPP) basis.

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