7th February 2012, Jaipur: Bicycle usage in Indian cities accounts for 5-20% of all trips. Public Bicycling Schemes are a relatively new concept in India, and has seen keen interest at the national level. Many cities are enthusiastic, and the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) is keen to support such initiatives around the country. EMBARQ India has been invited to be one of the core members of the consultative group set-up for the development of this scheme, and aims to work closely with cities to launch and sustain public bicycling schemes.
The Jaipur Development Authority (JDA) was looking at possibilities to implement a public bicycling system under a public-private-partnership, to reduce road congestion, accidents and pollution, and improve the quality of life for the people of Jaipur. To that end, EMBARQ India organised Cycling Cities, a workshop and design charette on public bicycling schemes on 7th February 2012 in Jaipur, aimed at providing an overview of public bicycling schemes, specifically relating to cycling in the city of Jaipur. A panel of experts were invited to give insight into various aspects of the workings of this system.
25 participants attended the workshop and had representation from the Jaipur Development Authority, the Jaipur City Transport Corporation Ltd., local NGOs involved with road safety and transport, private corporations and other agencies.
The Jaipur Development Authority (JDA) hosted the workshop at their conference facility. NC Mathur, Director (Projects), JDA, gave the inaugural address speaking on the importance of encouraging non-motorised transport, especially with the declining use of cycles caused by increased motorisation in the city. He quoted the National Urban Transport Policy, which prioritises pedestrianisation, and non-motorised transport. Rajan Vishal, MD, JCTSL spoke on the importance of cycling and the feasibility of implementing the project, the problems, challenges, financing, and land issues. DC Jowda, Director, JDA, stressed the importance of having dedicated corridors to reduce accidents and risks to cyclists.
Amit Bhatt, EMBARQ India’s strategic head – integrated urban transport gave an overview of public bicycling schemes, speaking of the system as an innovative platform for short-term bicycle rentals. He added that there are several components to the system and that consistent branding of each component is essential to the success of the system.
Using the World Café format, a conversational process based on a set of integrated design principles that reveal a deeper living network pattern, four groups had brief 15-minute sessions with each of the experts.
Anvita Arora, Innovative Transport Solutions Private Limited, led the groups in discussing the roles and responsibilities of the public and private sectors. The groups were able to identify government bodies, local associations, corporate stakeholders, and individuals likely to benefit or be affected by the implementation of public bicycling schemes in Jaipur.
Ranjit Gadgil, Parisar, facilitated a discussion on the challenges at the city level, speaking from his experience in the city of Pune. The discussion centred around the need for clear and essential policies for promoting non-motorised transport and having public bicycling schemes as part of a comprehensive non-motorised transport policy for the city.
Chris Kost, Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP), led the groups on international best practices. Using international case studies, the groups discussed how public bicycle schemes would compare and contrast with systems around the world.
Raj Janagam, Cycle Chalao, spoke on financing public bicycling schemes, and discussed the various costs involved in setting up such a system, as well as different financing models.
The design charette gave the participants an opportunity to put together an effective strategy for implementing a phase one of the public bicycling scheme in the city of Jaipur.
It was decided that a minimum of 500 cycles would be used to roll out phase one of the project. Moving forward, an analysis of the prospective areas where the system could be implemented will be carried out to determine the best location for the pilot phase of the project.
This blog post is a part of the Catalyzing New Mobility Program and receives support from The Rockefeller Foundation.