Peshawar Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is the northern provincial capital’s solution to reliable, cheap, and fast public transport, and it’s construction is already underway.
The 28-km long transit just got another new feature. Sources from TransPeshawar – the company behind BRT’s management – say that the bus transit will also have a dedicated bicycle lane with its own bicycle-sharing platform.
This feature is going to be the first-of-its-kind in Pakistan, and is definitely a good addition for people who want to enjoy a nice bicycle ride within the city. Authorities say that around 360 bicycles will be purchased initially for this purpose.
Users will have to pay to get a bicycle first, which they can easily do using the same NFC card used for the bus service itself. The card, called “Zu Fare Card”, will be issued by TransPeshawar.
Bike renting is already done in other countries like China, where it’s used extensively in Beijing. This is great for getting around town, especially for short-distance trips that can be done easily on a bicycle without getting stuck in traffic. And this has been made really easy, as you can use BRT’s mobile application to book your bike.
The company is also adding a rewards system, that tracks your usage on the service’s website and mobile app, so as to encourage good behavior. For instance, you will get rewarded if you drop a bicycle to an empty station after picking it up from somewhere relatively full.
Furthermore, the special bicycles to be used at BRT will have some new-age tech such as GPS sensors as well as LED’s for safety and security.
You just have to get your bicycle at one station, and drop it off to another close to your destination.
The administration will keep moving bicycles around different stations using trucks, wherever they are needed more.
To prevent theft, a fool-proof security system has also been included within the bikes. According to other reports, TransPeshawar plans to use chain-less bikes that use a Fiber string instead of traditional metal chains.
We can expect this system to get more common and practical in Pakistan over time. There should be more of these in other cities, as bicycles present a good, healthier alternative for day-to-day commuting. However, it could be a health hazard in cities like Karachi or Lahore where smog and air pollution is common. Authorities should work on resolving this issue first before implementing this system in other cities.