MMRDA plans bicycle service at BKC, Kurla, Bandra stations

Mumbai: The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) plans to introduce a bicycle sharing system for the public to reach their work place in the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) and to the two suburban railway stations -- Kurla West and Bandra East.

According to an official from MMRDA, as per plans, the bicycles will be battery operated and users of this service will have to make payments through a digital wallet system. A mobile application will be developed to manage the service. Bicycle stands will be made available at these three locations.

The concept is based on the lines of Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMC), which implemented the service in Nerul last year in November and has over one lakh users till now.

Interestingly, the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) too extended the bicycle service to Kharghar in June 2019. The Navi Mumbai authority aims to curb pollution and traffic congestion, reduce the carbon footprint and enhance the health index of residents through the bicycle sharing service.

Similarly, MMRDA now plans to introduce this green initiative. However, majority of the cycle users in Navi Mumbai are fitness enthusiasts due to the open space and greenery it offers. There are many morning joggers and walkers. Considering this, the NMC authority introduced the cycling initiative.

On the other hand, BKC is Mumbai's commercial centre and the users will be office goers. Therefore, the response that MMRDA would receive from office goers for a bicycle sharing system would be different.

Astonishingly, MMRDA had earlier built a separate lane for cyclists in BKC at an estimated cost of Rs 6 crore, but the lane is seen occupied by auto rickshaws and cars as parking spots.

Though the idea did not succeed, MMRDA now plans to revive the plan. Recently, it floated a tender for private operators to supply cycles, create public bicycle sharing systems and operate them.

The pre-bid meeting related to this project has been organised on October 1 with the interested parties. On October 18, MMRDA intends to open the bids received and select an operator.