Monday, January 11, 2010

More bicycle rental facilities coming up in Delhi

Some good news for cyclists :)

Soon, your nearest metro station Rs 3 bike ride away

The Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Wednesday, January 06, 2010


If lack of parking at a Metro station close to your residence is a concern and Metro feeder buses do not cater to your area, a ‘green’ option is also available.

You will soon be able to pedal to the nearest metro station and that too for just rupees three for a ride.

Two enterprising businessmen are launching ‘metro cycle feeder service’ where you can hire a cycle from a cycle station close to your home and drop it at the metro station.

A pilot project of metro cycle feeder service will start from first week of February from Rohini East and Rohini West metro stations.

Unlike the Delhi Metro’s own ‘rent a bicycle’ service, where the hirer has to return the bicycle at the same metro station, the metro cycle feeder service would function on a different concept.

“The customer can hire a bicycle from the metro station and drop it at any of the sub-stations in neighbouring and commercial areas,” said Atul Jain, partner, Delhi Cycles Private Limited, the company promoting the project.  “Similarly, a bicycle can be hired from any sub-station and can be returned at the metro station.”

According to Jain, the Metro approved the project and gave permission to start the pilot after nine months of evaluation, scrutiny and audit.

Like the Delhi Metro network, the cycle feeder service is also based on smart card system. The commuters will be issued smart cards which he will have to swipe on hand held devices available with the attendants while hiring the bicycle and returning it. The hirers will have to fill up a form and attach identity proof to get the smart card.

Each cycle trip would cost the hirer a meagre Rs 3. For one metro station, the company is planning to construct five sub-stations within the radius of two kilometres. There would be 25 bicycles available at each metro station while the proposed sub-stations will have 10 bicycles each.

The promoters said that the location of the sub-stations is being chosen keeping in mind that it benefits as many residential apartments and blocks in the vicinity as possible. 

For pilot project, however, the company will start with seven sub-stations to cater to the two metro stations.

“We will also have are mobile staff which would cater to any call of problem in the bicycle such as flat tyre. In a situation where there is no bicycle available at a particular metro or sub-station, we will have special vehicles which can take five cycles at a time from one place to another,” said Sanjeev Garg, the other partner.

Garg said back-end preparations like readying the software, obtaining smart cards and smart card readers are being made to ensure that the pilot project starts in first week of February.

“We are getting special cycle frame made so that the bicycles are recognised even from a distance,” Jain said.

While the project would start from two metro stations, the company plans to open cycle stations at all metro stations.

“We are also trying to get in touch with the chief minister, the transport minister and other civic and concerned agencies so that sub-stations can be opened at more and more places,” said Jain.

“Unfortunately, we have yet to receive any response from any other agency,” he added.

DMRC officials said they have allowed the pilot project from just two stations. “To start this project at more metro stations, we will later go for open tendering,” DMRC spokesperson Anuj Dayal said.


Btw, the 2009 nobel prize winner too is a regular cyclists - here's an article featuring him


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