Vandalism Vexes Chandigarh’s Public Bike-Sharing Cycle Project, 150 Complaints of Damage in a Month

Last month, the Chandigarh Administration launched the first phase of its long-awaited public bicycle sharing project. However, Chandigarh’s much-hyped cycle project has been taking major hits due to vandalism as there have been over 150 reports of damages in one month.

The firm Smart Bike Tech Private Ltd., which implements and operates the project, has been receiving daily complaints. The company found that some miscreants had tried to open bike parts, some deliberately damaged it and at some places, two persons were riding the cycles meant for a single rider. Even seats and lights of some of the cycles were stolen.

Vandalism Vexes Chandigarh’s Public Bike-sharing Cycle Project

Image: The Tribune

The operations in-charge, Abhinandan said;

Every day, we get three to four complaints of vandalism. In a month, about 150 complaints of vandalism of bikes have been reported from different parts of the city.

In Sector 29 docking station, the outer layer of tyres of cycles had come off. In one instance, two unlocked cycles were found abandoned at the MC store.

Given the continuing cases of vandalism, the company has sought the help of the local police, requesting them to increase patrolling around the docking stations. It has also asked its staff to be vigilant and keep an eye on miscreants.

Vandalism Vexes Chandigarh’s Public Bike-sharing Cycle Project

Image: Sanjeev Sharma/HT

The project has had a few hiccups along its implementation process. Earlier, there were some glitches with the Smart Bike app. Meanwhile, the cycle rides under the project were made free till September 10 and the glitches still haven’t been fixed.

RK Garg, a social activist, said;

I had a terrible experience with the public-bike sharing. In Sector 27, there are five cycle docks. This morning, I went to a dock with three cycles — one out of order and two under maintenance. At a few docks, no cycles were there. I booked one with the mobile app, but faced hiccups in starting and ending the ride.

Under this project, around 1,200 bicycles, including pedal-assisted e-bikes, were made available at 155 docking stations in the city. All the bicycles come with GPS-enabled locking arrangements and are monitored at a control center with a 24×7 helpline facility.

However, the glitches in the mobile app and episodes of damages are troubling the users and making a bad example. The unmaintained cycling tracks have added to the problems.

An ambitious mission, cycle project has the potential to reduce vehicular emissions significantly in metropolitan cities. But given the troubles with the first phase, it is hard to say if this project will ever reach its goal.

Via: The Tribune

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