"Once a person gets off the metro, they face difficulties in covering the last mile."

14-year-old starts petition for people to carry bicycles on Bengaluru Metro
news Transport Wednesday, May 11, 2016 - 17:49

The East-West corridor of the Bengaluru Metro, opened on April 29, may have come as a relief to thousands of commuters battling traffic congestion daily. But for most of these commuters, there are still problems galore once they exit the metro station, as last-mile connectivity continues to remain woefully inadequate.

Now, a 14-year-old Bengalurean, Sanjith Rao from Sishu Griha Montessori and High School, New Tippasandra, is asking the BMRCL why they don’t take steps to promote cycles as a green move to make the last leg of transport more convenient.

To this end, Sanjith has started a petition on Change.org for BMRCL to allow passengers to carry their cycles on the Namma Metro and use them for transport to and from metro stations.

Sanjith says that he when he had visited Athens, Greece, and travelled on the metro there, he had seen people carrying their cycles on it. Being an avid cyclist, he wanted to see that was possible in Bengaluru as well. “After researching online, I found out that only foldable cycles that fit through a baggage scanner were allowed. I sent BMRCL a mail asking why non-foldable cycles weren’t allowed, but I did not receive a reply to that. So, I decided to file a petition online,” he says.

Sanjith feels that the promoting cycle use is very important for the Metro to be fully utilized. “Once a person gets off the metro, they face difficulties in covering the last mile. As stated in my petition, hiring auto rickshaws is difficult. Also, due to a large number of people using their own private vehicles, pollution and grid-locked traffic are other trials faced by most Bangaloreans,” he says.

Sanjith, who has been promoting the petition through a variety of social media channels like Facebook, Google Plus, Instagram and LinkedIn, particularly through cycling groups on these media, says that the response has been highly positive. “The public has understood the need for such a system. They have also agreed that it is feasible,” he says.

“Some have said that they would never use their motorbikes/taxis if cycles were allowed,” he adds.

Aroona Bhat, one person who responded positively to Sanjith’s campaign, for instance, wrote, “I believe it's a simple request and done all the time abroad. Don't see why it can't be done here!”

Rakesh Rao, another supporter of the campaign, wondered why cycles are not permitted when strollers are permitted on the Metro. “A bicycle is an open machine and can be checked like a stroller if necessary. If the same rule is true, all strollers also must pass through the x-ray machine. If peak crowd management is an issue, some timing restrictions can be applied on bicycles.”

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