Here is something different and away from the CAD & cloud world.
Automated, air-conditioned metro trains running on dedicated over-the-ground and sub-terrain corridors are a relatively new concept in urban India. Barring Kolkata, the rest of India never had these kinds of public transport until 2002 when the first metro started in New Delhi. Today, the country is on an over-drive to construct metros in major cities, with Mumbai, Jaipur, Kochi, Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore in various stages of metro construction.
The metro is a mass rapid transit system. However, it can only take you to a point near your destination but not exactly to your doorstep. The last mile of transport still needs to be fulfilled by either foot, public transport or a personal transport machine like a bicycle. The last option is perhaps one that best fulfills the aim to create a pollution-free, easy and fast transport in the 1-3 km distance range from the metro station.
But, there is a problem. Indian metros do not allow bicycles to be carried in the trains. We believe this rule needs scrapping. All over the world, bicycles are allowed in an urban metro train, whose purpose is to ensure that end-to-end access.
By not allowing bicycles on metros, we are probably making it difficult for an additional 20% of potential metro users to use the metro and instead use their motorized 2-wheelers on the road, thereby increasing road traffic. Our metros are probably losing 20% of potential revenue because that many people will now find it un-viable to use the metro.
My son, Sanjith Rao has started a campaign on change.org to impress upon the BMRCL authorities to relax the rule and allow bicycles to be carried on metros. To begin with, we want the Bengaluru Metro to scrap this rule and we hope metro rail corporations in other parts of India will follow suit as well.
We realize it may not be possible to make an overnight announcement to allow bicycles on Bangalore metros. A few changes, rules, markings and staff training may be needed to make it happen
Please support this campaign, let us allow bicycles on Indian metros and make our roads congestion free as much as possible. A small bunch of people regularly try and use bicycles to work in Bangalore even when our roads are totally un-suitable for bicycles. Thew few bicycle lanes I have seen in India, in Jayanagar, Bangalore or in BKC, Mumbai are designed with absolutely no thought or vision.
Any system must be designed to provide as much convenience to the users. A transport system enables travelers to reach their destination. End-to-end connectivity and convenience is necessary. A bicycle is that simple device that will allow the last-link connectivity and convenience that people are looking for.