LG Najeeb Jung on Monday approved the cycling policy for the city, emphasizing the need for last-mile connectivity as well as environment-friendly travel. Set to be implemented in Dwarka initially, the policy is aimed at decongesting Delhi, said Jung.
“Today, even for 1-2km we are forced to use motorbikes or cars and this adds to pollution and congestion on the streets. Therefore, promotion of cycling and pedestrian infrastructure is vital to reduce pollution as well as congestion,” the LG added.
To start off, the bicycle sharing policy will enable implementation of 100km of shaded cycle tracks and pedestrian walkways. It also includes 180 cycle stations spread over 30sq km of area of Dwarka with 2,500 cycles. The cycle stations will be placed close to each other for easy accessibility. Those at Metro stations and other important locations will be larger, consisting of over 40 cycles.
According to the LG’s office, the cycle sharing system will have a mobility card that can be used in Delhi Metro and cluster buses as well. It can also be used for shopping and any other transactions. “The card will be linked to individual’s identity and the use of bicycles shall be monitored by an operation control centre. DDA will hire consultants to design the stations and bring out procurement and operations tender for equipment and operators through a transparent process,” said a Delhi government official. DDA will run the service for the first three years.
As part of the policy, land owning agencies like PWD, DDA and MCD will provide non-motorized transport lanes and related infrastructure. The safety and mobility of cyclists and pedestrians will also be ensured so that the city moves towards having safe cycling infrastructure on the streets and at intersections, said the release from the LG’s office.
The policy will incentivize participation by private sector to promote cycle sharing and renting in the city, added the release. “It was felt that if cycle sharing is to be promoted in the whole of Delhi, it cannot be done without any financial burden or subsidy to the operators,” it said. As part of the policy, an “enabling environment” will be created by way of providing land for construction of stations, subsidizing the licence fee on station areas, providing advertising rights to private agencies on cost-sharing basis and also providing viability gap funding, wherever required, said the release.
Vendors will have to adhere to service performance standards setup by Unified Traffic & Transportation Infrastructure (planning & engineering) Centre of DDA as part of the policy. “The performance standards shall ensure a high level of service so that people find it easy to use the system and shall have minimal waiting time at cycle sharing stations,” said the official.
DDA VC Balvinder Kumar said, “DDA shall run the system for the first three years without expectation of a lot of revenue as we want to establish a good system that works and one which everyone likes using. We are hopeful that it will benefit the people in a big way.”