NEW DELHI: India’s National Highways Authority ( NHA ) on Monday opened the first ever bike-riding centre in the country, in an effort to increase bike-sharing among the population.
The Centre for Urban Transport and Public Transport ( CUTP ), based at a sprawling hillside village in the northern state of Bihar, was designed as an “indoor bike training and mentoring facility” to boost biking across the country.
“This is an ambitious programme that will give the nation the best in mobility and mobility solutions,” said NHA chief secretary G Sivan.CUTP will initially employ 100 people and build the centre as a “bicycle training centre for all levels” to help people get on bikes and get involved in bike sharing.
The centre will have a range of activities including bike sharing, cycling lessons, bike tours, bike workshops, cycling camps, and bicycle repair shops, among others.
“The centre is an innovative urban transport centre and we want to make it a model for future bicycle-rides, bike sharing and cycling in India,” said Sivan, adding that the centre will be open every day from April 1.
The NHA will also be working with the World Bank, the World Economic Forum and the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to launch bike-rental services.
Bike-sharing is not new in India.
The Indian government launched its own bicycle-sharing scheme in 2011, and launched a similar scheme in 2014, but only in small numbers.
In 2013, NHA launched its first bike-parking service, and in 2018 it opened a dedicated bike-repair shop in Ahmedabad.