Indore: The initial plan of BRTS (Bus Rapid Transit) with cycle track to promote cycling as an eco-friendly and fitter way of transport did not work out, but now, with ibuses on a break, cyclists are enjoying the BRTS corridor as a cycle track. ‘
Thanks to a break in the rat race, city has more cyclists than ever. One single cycle shop sells over 50 cycles in a day now, as shared by cycle shop owners.
Further, Indore has about 50 major cycle stores in the city recording 50 cycle sales every day. Hence, an estimate of 2,500 cycles are sold every day in the city.
A major contribution in promoting cycling is the empty BRTS corridor providing a protected cycle lane. Another major trend seen in the city is the rise of female cyclists. “Cycling in BRTS feels safe as it is protected from other vehicles and even from rogue people and eve-teasers,” Karuna Sisodiya, a homemaker, who recently took up cycling, said.
Can cycling become the new way to commute?
While cycling for fitness has become an essential part of Indore's lifestyle for a couple of years, the question arises if people would switch from their cars and motorised vehicles to cycling to commute.
Giving a glimmer of hope, advocate Nitin Singh Bhati who regularly cycles states it is possible but requires facilities. “All of us loved cycling as a kid and lockdown has revived our childhood, but to ensure that cycling is a preferred way of commute, we will need protected cycle lanes, cycle stands and support of district administration,” Bhati said.
Battery powered cycle to work
Cycling to work can be the new norm for everyone including people who are not in the mood to peddle to work. “Cycles with battery is the route for people to keep their posture straight, while keeping their bio footprint low,” cyclist Dr Jaikaran Yadav said.
He added that with coronavirus outspread has also added a lesson on importance of living in sync with nature. “Various researches have shown that people living in sync with nature have better immunity and hence better ability to fight the virus,” cyclist Ritesh Yadav, a govt contractor, said.
He added that the trend of living in sync with environment has grown, where people are growing their own vegetables and cycling for leisure and travel over burning fuel and polluting environment.
No future for cycle track or cycling…
On possibility of completing cycle track on BRTS and further protecting the track, CEO of AiCTSL (Atal Indore City Transport Service Limited) Sandeep Soni said, “There are no such plans in place for construction or completing of cycle track on BRTS. We had initially planned and even bought battery powered cycles for supporting cycling as an alternative mode of transport, but it has not worked out.”
Further, Soni said that no cyclists were given permission to use BRTS corridor for cycling. “We have not given any permissions and do not intend to give such permissions,” Soni said.