Good news for cycle enthusiasts in the city: from December 10, the public bicycle-sharing system will be rolled out across the city.
Being launched as a pilot under the Cycles4Change challenge, under the project cycles will be offered on an half-hourly payment basis.
Chandigarh is one of the 95 cities to have registered for the challenge, which aims to encourage cities to implement cycling-friendly initiatives in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
KK Yadav, MC commissioner and CEO of Chandigarh Smart City Limited, said, “We will be launching the pilot project with 25 docking stations and 250 bicycles.”
The project will be launched from the Rock Garden by Punjab governor and UT administrator VP Singh Badnore on December 19, added Yadav.
The docking stations have been installed in different locations including the Rock Garden, high court, Sukhna Lake, PGIMER, Sectors 17, 22, 34, and 43.
The user charges will be ₹5 for half an hour (for members) and ₹10 for non-members. People will be able to use the cycle through a mobile app that will allow booking of the ride and availing an annual membership.
The bicycles are GPS-enabled and will be supported by a 24×7 control centre with a facility of a call centre and where cycle movement can be tracked.
Main project by December-end
After much delay in commencing, the public bicycle-sharing project being implemented by the CSCL is now picking pace.
In the first phase, which is scheduled to be completed by December-end, 600 cycles will be available at 60 dock stations across the city. Even the availability of e-bikes will be a part of Phase 1.
“The docking station location and designs are getting necessary approvals from the UT urban planning department. A committee of the CSCL, the department and the firm installing the stations has visited the proposed locations, and the plans have been prepared keeping in mind the requirements of each site,” said a CSCL official.
After the project is completed, expectedly by June 2021, as many as 5,000 ordinary cycles and 600 e-bikes will be available on hourly rent basis at 617 dock stations in the city.
According to the agreement, the firm will execute the project in multiple phases over the course of the next 18 months, to make 2,000 cycles available at 200 dock stations within the next six months. The firm will invest money to set up all requisite infrastructures and in return, it will get advertising rights from the UT at dock stations.
The pedal-assisted bicycles or electric-bicycles (e-bikes) will be also made available under the project. E-bikes use rechargeable batteries and can reach speeds of 25 to 30 km per hour. The electric motor installed on the cycle is meant to add to human power generated through pedaling and not completely replace it.
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