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Where there is a wheel, there is a way

Sharath S. Srivatsa and Anil Kumar Sastry

— File Photo: K. MURALI KUMAR

PEDAL POWER: The project hopes to decongest roads in the software hub

BANGALORE: The pay packets of software engineers may yet afford them posh cars. But a green initiative is trying to convince them to hop on to the humble bicycle within their own sprawling work area — Electronics City — to keep it clean and emission-free.

If the Government approves the Easy Bike project, a brainchild of Ride A Cycle Foundation, cycles will be made available for commute within Electronics City, and this can decongest the roads.

The novel concept got the seal of approval from the Bangalore Metropolitan Land Transport Authority (BMLTA) in its recent meeting chaired by Chief Secretary S.V. Ranganath, and will be placed before the Cabinet for approval. According to BMLTA Commissioner Mohammed Mohsin, the Rs. 50 lakh needed has been sought from the Government’s Challenge Fund for innovative projects.

Once approved, the Easy Bike project will be the first of its kind in the country, modelled on Velilib, the successful public bicycle sharing scheme in Paris. Some one lakh people are employed in about 70 large companies in Electronics City Phase I that is spread over 300 acres. Under the pilot project, which will be membership-driven, cycles can be hired for a nominal Rs. 2 per hour, H.R. Murali, Project Manager of the foundation told The Hindu. “Ten nodal points will be established in Electronics City and both the cycles and the cyclists will be insured.”

“To track the use and movement of cycles, Near Field Communication (NFC), which works with the help of a mobile phone, will be used,” said B.V. Pradeep, the foundation’s trustee. “Members will be given smart cards.”

About 500 unisex cycles will be introduced in a phased manner.

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