November 8, 2020 12:07:23 pm
The Yaana bike-sharing project of Panchkula has seen almost double the number of rides as compared to the bike sharing projects in Gwalior and Bhubaneswar, despite having less than half the number of bikes.
While Panchkula has 200 such bicycles, more than 1.10 lakh rides were registered between June and October this year, Gwalior and Bhubaneswar with 500 bicycles each, registered above 76,000 and 12,000 rides respectively.
The bike sharing project of Panchkula—first of its kind in the Tricity–was built at a cost of Rs 2.09 crore and was inaugurated by chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar in August, 2019. The bike-sharing systems uses an app to register riders. As on October 29, 2020 the city residents have since taken 2.34 lakh rides in total, registering a total of 45,149 downloads as yet.
The stations which have seen the maximum number of rides are Town park, Sector 5 station, Sector 20 market, Sector 12, hotel Shiraaz, Sector 10, and Geeta Chowk.
“We had an organic response from Panchkula which has gone beyond our expectations. Almost 50,000 downloads have taken place within a span of one year. Gwalior on the other hand, with a population almost five times of Panchkula, has seen only 80,000 app downloads. Each bicycle in Panchkula is being taken for a ride at least 3-4 times a day, which is much more than any other city,” said Saurabh Jain, company manager of Yaana.
While the bicycle sharing project is running in at least 12 cities, it seems to the most successful in Panchkula. Owing to this, the corporation had decided to add ten new stations in the city, in November last year. However, the project remains stranded.
“We were in talks about it with the MC Commissioner at the time. But then the lockdown was initiated and our work remained shut for April and May. Even though it has resumed, things have been slow. We have a presentation prepared and are ready to install the ten stations at the go of the Panchkula administration,” Saurabh added.
The location of these new bike stations was of special interest as the new docks were to be set up at locations that were ignored earlier, including sectors of MDC and trans-ghaggar area. In the first phase, 200 bicycles were made available for rent from 20 docks around the city.
The Chandigarh Municipal Corporation had announced a similar project in 2018, but the city is yet to see one. According to their plans, at least 600 cycle-sharing points and 10,000 bicycles were to be installed as the part of the project.
The Union Territory had also asked Panchkula MC for 80 cycles last year to carry out a live demonstration under Chandigarh Smart City Project. The Panchkula MC, owing to the high demand, had only supplied 40.
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