On September 22, 2018, a Bengaluru group threw an ambitious challenge to the residents of the city asking them to cycle to work. The challenge coincided with International Car-free day and was a way to encourage sustainable modes of transport in the garden city.
Three months on, and the group has managed to collate information about 412 people in Bengaluru who are cycling to work and also have 115 companies on board across six cities which have supported the campaign.
This includes 64 people in Cisco Systems India in Cessna Business Park in Sarjapur, which accounts for the highest number of riders from a company in Bengaluru.
Fifteen riders from Quintype Technology India clocked 5,106 km riding to work, making it the highest distance covered by riders from a company cycling to work in the city. Meanwhile, 27 employees of Robert Bosch based in Electronic City, have signed up to cycle to work and have covered a combined distance of 2,696 km so far.
"This is a way of telling policy makers that there is significant number of people in the city who are taking to cycling. We are trying to collect information about as many people as possible. Each ride contributes to data that the city's policy makers can use to make decisions on safe cycling facilities. So it is important to ride more and get your colleagues to ride more," says Subbaiah, a cycle activist connected with the project.
The top three companies in the leaderboard maintained by the campaign will be felicitated on Sunday at Cubbon Park. The campaign organisers are hopeful that it will attract more companies and individuals to take to cycling in Bengaluru. The campaign is also collecting a database of bicycle repair shops in the city and has also developed a map showing where they are located.
The campaign was started by a group of like-minded organisations including CiFOS - Citizens for Sustainability, Bums on the saddle, iCycle among others.