Bhopal Moto – A ride a day, keeps you fit everyday

Bhopal, the City of Lakes has also become the first city in India to have its own Bicycle Sharing Service at the city level for the public under the Smart City Mission. Among the 7 cities in Madhya Pradesh selected for Smart Cities, Bhopal was the first one to have been introduced with a Bike Sharing Scheme. The one-time cost is ₹50 for college students and ₹100 for senior citizens and women which has been influential in boosting the use of the service by the local citizens around. 

The idea of Bicycle Public Sharing Scheme was introduced by the Ministry of Urban Development in 2011. The scheme was introduced with an aim to draw attention to the advantage of using bicycles under a self sustainable Public Bicycle Sharing scheme framework in urban areas. This was done to provide the public with a low cost public mobility which would also be environment friendly; as it has various advantages – promotes non-motorised transport, reduces the use of private vehicles, thereby reducing pollution and fuel consumption. 

Bhopal’s Smart Bike Sharing Service is an easy to use public service which has recently started to realize its full potential in the city. To avail the service, one has to sign up on the app or website first, then pay the registration fee, which is a one time refundable security deposit. The process to use the service is simple, one can rent a cycle from any cycle rental station at any time of the day, ride it to reach at any location and then return the cycle at the nearest cycle rental station from their destination. The use of the service is roughly equal among both men and women and is majority among the children, especially the school and college goers. The program was slow initially and is now catching up to its expectations as more users are registering for the service.

The project is significant from the point of view of commuting short distances, usually upto 5 km. It was observed that the use of bicycle was the maximum during the peak hours from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m catering to peak hours. 

During the first phase of the project, 50 locations with 500 bicycles were selected for for setting up bicycle rental stations. The second phase of the project is being worked on for which 3 crores were allotted. Under the phase two, bicycle rental stations are being installed near all the city’s residential and business centres. An end-to-end connectivity for the Smart Bike Sharing Service is being executed by developing a holistic cycling infrastructure. Currently, according to Bhopal Smart City Development Corporation Limited (BSCDCL), work is going on to connect the rental stations with all colonies within a 500-meter radius. A Smart City Official informed that the locations were selected by giving preference to places near large colonies or those frequented by a large number of people like parks and other public places and places visited or frequented by a large number of students. 

Also to meet the increasing need, the number of rental stations is being planned to be incremented upto 100. The rental stations currently are set up near the passenger waiting rooms on the Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) corridor close to the city’s main roads.

 

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