Friday, February 12, 2010

Bike Sharing in Mumbai, India

A student picks up a bicycle waiting at Mulund station, rides it to Kelkar College and parks it at a cycle stand there, where it is ready for use by the next student. Mumbai has launched a bike-sharing system, following in the footsteps of Paris, London, Dublin and New York. From Mulund, where the ‘Cycle Chalao’ movement is now restricted, organiser I-Initiate hopes to spread out across the city. The start has been encouraging, with 100-odd Kelkar students joining on January 25. This has helped “convert” 100 habitual users of the rickshaw, a polluting mode of transport, said Raj Janagam of I-Initiate. “By the end of the year, we plan to measure the carbon emission we have prevented simply by switching to the bicycle,” he said. Membership is of two kinds: a monthly subscription (like Montreal’s Bixi model) or a refundable deposit system. “We have studied many successful and failed international models and realised that for the system to sustain, it needs to be easy to implement. Our programme has a very low operational cost and involves minimal book-keeping. Since this is a trial launch, we also chose the location carefully. Read on here.