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02 Feb 2023, Edition - 2760, Thursday

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Pedal your way using a smart card

Covai Post Network


Coimbatore is all set to embrace a unique public bicycle sharing system that provides bicycles at minimal rates.

People can pick up these specially made cycles from the 140 stations, to be set up in the city and drop them after using them in any of the stations regardless from where the bicycle was taken from, all by using a smart mobility card.

According to Aswathy Dilip, Manager of Advocacy and Communications at the Institute of Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP), which has proposed the idea to the Coimbatore Corporation, the institute had conducted a study on the transportation of Coimbatore that has helped them identify the demand here.

“We identified that around 35 per cent of the people use public transport, 10 per cent use cars and 35 per cent are either pedestrians or use bicycles. If implemented, this scheme would help the last 35 per cent better,” she told the Covai Post. Around 1600 bicycles would be available for the public for 24 hours.

“The bicycles are embedded with RSIC chips that enable the service provider to track the bicycles. The users can unlock these cycles from the stations using the smart card, which would also carry the chip,” Aswathy said.

Claiming that the service provider was also planning to set up unmanned automated stations, from where the users can directly unlock the cycles from, Aswathy also informed that the system would cover an area of 20 square km on the first phase and include areas such as Tatabad, Railway Junction, Race Course, Ukkadam, Town Hall and RS Puram.

“While stations in remote areas will house between 12 and 15 bicycles, stations close to bus stations and junctions will house up to 50 bicycles. The service provider will also make sure that the stations do not run dry and bicycles will be distributed as and when they are taken from stations,” said Aswathy adding that users can check on the availability of bicycles using mobile applications or the web portal.

When implemented, the scheme would be the first of its kind large scale public bicycle sharing system in Tamil Nadu and would be an added advantage to the city’s smart city scheme.

However, the organisers have also informed that safety gears including helmets may not be provided by them to the users.

Notably, the Corporation Council had passed a resolution on Wednesday, calling for expression of interest for introducing a Public Bicycle Sharing System and also introduce model Roads with D.B. Road and T.V. Samy Road selected as model projects.

Commenting on the proposal, Corporation Commissioner K. Vijayakarthikeyan said that model was being worked out and it would be implemented immediately after the State Government gives green signal.

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