|Title||Booming Indian cities look to bike sharing to put brakes on congestion|
|Date||2018-01-23 PM 5:50:29||Hit||282|
A handful of Indian cities are gearing up to launch bike-sharing systems to ease traffic congestion and deadly air pollution, as urban populations surge and vehicles clog the streets.
Bike sharing systems in the southern city of Mysuru and the central city of Bhopal, both launched last June, have met with a tremendous response, officials say.
About half a dozen more cities, including Bengaluru, Pune and Bhubaneswar, are now drawing up similar plans, according to the World Resources Institute (WRI), a Washington D.C.-based research organisation.
“Bike sharing is a viable option for Indian cities - we just need good quality bikes, dedicated lanes and a system that is efficient,” said Chandramauli Shukla, chief executive of Bhopal Smart City Corporation.
The corporation implements the federally-funded Smart Cities programme to improve services like internet connectivity and public transport in 100 cities across India.
With rising incomes and a large young population, passenger vehicle ownership in India has nearly tripled in the last decade, government data shows. Gridlock has become common and transit systems struggle to keep pace.
Vehicle emissions account for almost a third of air pollution in India, which has nearly half the world’s 20 most polluted cities, according to the World Health Organization. Some 2.5 million people in the country die every year due to pollution.
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