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A breezy bike ride across Chandigarh finally a reality

The project that aims to provide 5,000 bicycles to city residents will be completed in four phases by 2022. The first phase of providing 1,250 cycles will be completed in April 2021.

Written by Hina Rohtaki | Chandigarh | December 11, 2020 10:13:26 am
Smart Bike, bike sharing, in ChandigarhUT administrator V P Singh Badnore and other senior UT officers enjoying a bike ride from Rock Garden to Punjab Raj Bhawan, in Chandigarh on Thursday. (Kamleshwar Singh)

After years of dilly-dallying, the much awaited, first public bike sharing system was launched in Chandigarh Thursday, with 225 bicycles — hybrid and electric — being rolled out for city residents.

Though the project involves providing 5,000 bicycles to city residents, it will be completed in four phases till 2022, with the first phase of 1,250 cycles being provided till April 2021. Of the 1,250 cycles, 225 have been provided at 25 dock stations. Residents can rent these bicycles at a nominal Rs 10 for half an hour and Rs 5 (for half an hour) for members.

How will it work?

Commissioner cum Chief Executive officer of Smart City Limited K K Yadav said that residents will have to download an app by the name ‘Smart bike’ from Play Store.

“Residents can scan the QR code. There will be the facility of a wallet too where residents can get prepaid top-up done of Rs 100, Rs 200 or Rs 500. After the ride is complete, the resident will be shown the amount he has to pay and it will automatically be deducted from the Paytm account or digital wallet attached to the registration,” he added.

An amount of Rs 12 lakh will have to paid annually by the company running the public bike sharing system to the administration. In the first phase, 1,250 cycles will be provided at 155 docking stations.

V P Singh Badnore, Governor of Punjab and Administrator, U.T., launched the first phase of the ‘Public Bike Sharing System’.

Badnore emphasised that the project would help reduce the CO2 footprint of the city, making it more environmental-friendly with reduced traffic congestion. In view of his vision, the Governor himself took a bicycle ride along with other officials from Rock Garden to Punjab Raj Bhawan.

Where are the docking stations?

The 25 docking stations are spread across prominent locations in the city such as Rock Garden, High Court and Sukhna, PGI, Sector 17, Sector 22, Sector 34, Sector 35, Sector 43 with 225 bicycles, which includes more than 100 pedal assisted e-bikes.
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 Public Bike Sharing Network. The project will be developed in four phases of 1250 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,” he said. All bicycles are provided with GPS enabled locking arrangement and will be monitored in the Command and Control Centre having a 24X7 facility of helpline for the users. This project is being implemented and operated by the concessionaire M/s Smart Bike Tech Pvt. Ltd., Hyderabad for 10 years on Public Private Partnership (PPP) basis.

“Users/citizens will be able to take bicycle on rent to commute through the city at very nominal user charges which are Rs 10 for half an hour and Rs 5 for members for half an hour,” he added.

How to pick up a bicycle?

Users will be able to take a bicycle by downloading and registering through mobile app ‘Smart Bike’, unlocking and locking a bicycle at the docking station as per their requirement. Docking stations have been provided keeping in view the first and last mile connectivity to users by bicycles,” commissioner said.

Chandigarh is already participating in ‘India Cycle4Change Challenge’, an initiative of the ‘Smart Cities Mission, Ministry of Housing and Urban affairs, Government of India, to inspire and support the cities to implement cycling-friendly initiatives.

Officials said that with the launch of Public Bike Sharing System, the prospects of winning have increased.

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