The Namma Metro authorities have reiterated that Bengalureans can carry their foldable bicycles on the metro as long as it can pass through the luggage scanner. Until now there was a persistent confusion among the security staff across the 42 metro stations in the existing network on the matter, causing them to deter users from carrying the foldable cycles.
Speaking to reporters, Chief Public Relations Officer, BM Yashavanth Chavan of the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation (BMRCL), said, “From the beginning we have insisted people can always carry the foldable bicycles. But they have to fit through the luggage scanner.”
Metro officials also urge people carrying these bikes to be in the last compartment of the metro to avoid inconvenience to other users. The last compartment also has designated spaces for wheelchairs.
Allowing bicycles will resolve the first and last mile connectivity hurdles for many commuters, which has remained a binding issue for many public transport users in the city.
However, with no additional passes or tickets for those carrying these bicycles, there is no reliable number of how many of the nearly 4 lakh people using the metro daily use foldable bicycles on a regular basis.
From the start of metro service, a section of users has been keen for regular cycles to be allowed in the metro too, as is done in many parts of the world. However, metro officials state that won’t be a reality any time soon, given the already cramped coaches in peak hours.
Other than allowing foldable bicycles, the metro authority itself has pushed for new app-based cycles and electric bikes for people to use from and to metro stations.
Amit Gupta, CEO of Yulu, one such app-based bicycle service, said, ”On an average we see that 20% of our daily trips are either starting or ending at metro stations. This number will go up the moment we get wider coverage of metro in the city. Electronic City, Whitefield and Outer Ring Road are expected to see much of the usage.”
For the Phase-II of the Namma Metro, the BMRCL and the Directorate of Urban Land Transport are in discussion to create bicycle lanes near the stations and under flyovers throughout the metro network for the ease of bikers.