Kochi: The Kochi Metro Rail Ltd (KMRL) is set to re-launch the public bike sharing system, offering free rides to commuters from six main metro stations to various spokes. In June last, the bike sharing system was launched by a private bicycle club with the backing of the KMRL. However, it failed to find many takers. The cycles at racks at places like Kaloor even got rusted. “We’re taking over the scheme and re-launching it so as to benefit metro commuters in a major way. The commuters, instead of walking to the destinations near metro stations, can take a free cycle ride. We’ll deploy 40 new bicycles at six main metro stations in the city soon,” said a KMRL spokesperson.
The KMRL would also utilise the existing racks located at Menaka (opposite Gateway Hotel), south railway station (Vivekananda road next to station entrance), north railway station (under the bridge) and Kaloor (opposite private bus stand, KK Road) as various spokes. “The commuters can leave the bicycles here. The cycles can be taken from any of the six stations or rack and returned to any desired rack or at the six stations. The commuter should ensure the bicycle is locked (number lock facility) after returning it. The number lock code will be provided via SMS,” the spokesperson said.
The initiative is part of the efforts to develop non-motorised transportation (NMT) facilities and includes setting up of dedicated cycle tracks, pedestrian corridors and walkway-cum-recreational spaces. The KMRL had identified spaces for dedicated cycle corridor at different sections like M G Road, Boat Jetty, Panampilly Nagar, Kadavantra, CUSAT and Fort Kochi. To woo commuters to cycling, a point-system-based public bicycle sharing scheme is also being planned. The commuter will be given discount for metro train travel upon completing a particular level of hours.