Bhubaneswar: The cycles for the public bicycle sharing (PBS) project have started arriving in the city. Easy to book, low cost and no pollution would be the three in-things of the city-wide PBS project, which would be ready to roll, very soon.
While Hexi Bikes, a product of Hero Cycles will have 1,000 cycles under the PBS, Yaana and Yulu will have 500 each. The PBS would also ensure a healthy alternative to the city residents and also a possible green mode of transport for the visitors coming to the city for travelling.
What is unique about the bikes is that the ones used in the PBS system shall be of low-frame structure so that women wearing “sarees” can also ride them. Adjustable seat height will make the bike easy to use by majority age groups like kids and students.
Bhubaneswar Smart City Limited (BSCL) has awarded the tender to the three respective companies i.e. Hexi Bikes (1,000 numbers) and Yaana and Yulu Bikes (500 numbers) each.
The bicycles will be robust in built and structure and smooth for riding on city roads. The cycles will also be digitally mapped based on global positioning system (GPS) locations and will provide Mobile App based services to users to locate and use a bicycle.
Anuj Malhotra, PBS Expert with BSCL informed, “Generally cities make the mistake of keeping the bike stations only at major destinations or junctions. In case of Bhubaneswar, a dense network of stations is planned and is being implemented. Important aspect is to connect the ‘Sources’ to ‘Destinations’ and therefore bike stations shall be found within residential areas as well as on main streets so that people can start and get back to their homes on a bicycle”.
The Mobile App will also include provisions for online payment based on usage. The Capital Region Urban Transport (CRUT), an SPV to manage urban transport in and around the city, and BSCL are also developing bike stations across the city, integrated with Bus Queue Shelters (BQS) to provide common infrastructure for the multi-operator model. All the deployment and implementations will be completed before Odisha Men’s Hockey World Cup-2018. The docking stations for cycles would cover all areas including heritage area and Info City.
The bicycles will also be fitted with smart locks, which can be opened through mobile application by the users. The PBS users will be categorised into two types, i.e. members and non-members. For the first 30 minutes for members there would be no charge. However, after 30 minutes there will be charges as per the fee structure. The non-members, of the PBS system, however, have to furnish a minimal charge for the first 30 minutes as well.