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Thursday, October 28, 2021

Public bicycles stolen and taken home, vandalism hits Chandigarh’s public bike-sharing system


Chandigarh’s public bike-sharing system has been hit by vandalism and thievery ever since it was rolled out across the city on August 12. According to reports, 193 bikes have been damaged and in, at least, four instances, users took the bikes to their homes.

“One person even took a bicycle to his residence in Kharar. The company staff had to bring the cycle back from there,” NP Sharma, the chief general manager of the Chandigarh Smart City Limited, said.

Although the company handling the bike-sharing project can file an FIR if a bicycle is not returned within 24 hours of being hired, the company has till now refrained from doing so and have only brought back the vehicles.

Officials said that there have been several instances when the basket of a bicycle has been found damaged. Even the seat, pedal and lock of the bikes have been damaged by unruly users.

In some cases, the stickers on the lock and barcode were removed and the plastic grip of the handles and the mudguard stolen.

On an average, around 2,000 rides are being taken daily under the public bike-sharing system.

After the pan-city launch of the project, as many as 76,786 rides have been taken and 1,22,858 ride hours have been logged in. A total of 5,37,502 kilometres have been covered during this time.

PEOPLE MAY BE CHARGED FROM TUESDAY ONWARDS

Since the operator company has submitted a report that it has corrected all the glitches that were weighing down the bike-sharing system, it is expected that people may have to pay for using the bicycles from Tuesday onwards. Officials of the Chandigarh Smart City Limited had asked the company to start charging the users only after all technical glitches were resolved.

HOW THE BICYCLE SHARING SYSTEM WORKS

The electric-bicycle-sharing system is operated through the SmartBike mobile app. A rider is able to locate the closest bike station with the help of the app, unlock a bike, and ride and return the bike at any dock station. The system offers GPS-based tracking of bicycles and online collection of fare, among others.

SmartBike dock stations

Dock stations have been set up at Sectors 1, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 52, PU, PGI, Punjab and Haryana High Court, Manimajra, Sukhna Lake, Rock/Rose Garden and GMSH-16.



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