Public bike-sharing cheapest mode for last-mile in Mumbai: Report

As cycling gains popularity across the world, a recent analysis shows that it could also prove to be the cheapest mode for last-mile connectivity in Mumbai
Bicycle services for the last mile connectivity at Jagruti Nagar Metro station. (Satyabrata Tripathy/HT Photo)
Bicycle services for the last mile connectivity at Jagruti Nagar Metro station. (Satyabrata Tripathy/HT Photo)
Published on Jan 19, 2021 11:23 PM IST
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As cycling gains popularity across the world, a recent analysis shows that it could also prove to be the cheapest mode for last-mile connectivity in Mumbai.

The recent analysis by the World Resources Institute (WRI), India shows that while public-bike sharing (introduced at Mumbai metro stations) costs 2 for a five km ride, the same distance costs 5 in a BEST bus and local train (second class), 50 in first-class and 20 in a metro.

It gets more expensive if one opts for an auto ( 60.67), a black and yellow taxi ( 74) or an app-based cab ( 115). The analysis has assessed the cycling speed to be around 6km per hour. The newly-introduced public-bike sharing scheme at the Versova and Jagruti Nagar metro station costs 2 per hour.

For trains, the report looks at the pricing between the Churchgate and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) stations.

First and last-mile connectivity — the beginning and end of a commute made using public transportation — has been a huge issue in the city.

Prateek Diwan, senior project associate, urban innovative and integrated transport, WRI India said, “Public transportation becomes effective when commuters have a range of last-mile connectivity options, which is usually at a distance of about 2-5kms. Apart from being a low-cost mode of travel, cycling also allows commuters flexibility to change routes and is the most sustainable transport option.”

Almost 35% of vehicular trips in India are short-trips (less than 5kms). The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) development plan (DP) 2032 also states that 60% of the start and end of public transport trips are by walking and more than 80% of it is for less than 15 minutes, which effectively means that these trips, in conducive weather, can also translate to cycling trips.

Pranav Naik, a Mumbai-based urban designer and a cyclist said, “Public bike-sharing will be more effective if there is a network and cycles are easily available at the different Metro and railway stations.”

The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), which is implementing a 337km metro network in Mumbai and its adjoining areas, is also giving a lot of importance to cycling as an attractive last-mile option. Apart from introducing cycling in two metro stations, MMRDA has introduced e-scooters in Bandra-Kurla Complex. MMRDA has also planned cycle bays across all upcoming 200+ metro stations as part of its larger multimodal integration plan.

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