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Clean City Cycle Club was conceptualised in 2011 and was incorporated as a company in April 2012. There are multifarious motivational factors that drove us to pursue this initiative, some personal and others based on business sense
Bike hire schemes are on the verge of becoming an integral part of public transportation in cities across the globe. This system of impromptu bike renting is helping urban areas reduce automotive traffic and pollution while providing locals and tourists with a convenient, cheap and healthy means of transport. Currently, there are over 300 organized bike sharing programs worldwide. That number is growing – and not just in the West. In India, for example, the Ministry of Urban Development is preparing to launch a 10-city public bike scheme as part of its “Mission for Sustainable Habitat”
Colombo city is currently undergoing a massive transformation where certain areas of the Capital are ear-marked for tourism, heritage, linear parks, financial hub, etc. As a result, this present time extends us a perfect opportunity to factor-in and build on this clean city cycle project. Likewise, Kandy city is recorded to have the highest pollution levels in Sri Lanka due to the unresolved problems related to traffic flows and congestion exacerbated by the lack of by-pass roadways. The situation is very similar in many of the major cities across the island.
In Colombo we have ten locations allocated to us by the UDA and CMC for bike stations at appropriate points. This was finalized following our scoping and research activities. Currently we are running the pilot project which is mainly focused on the Colombo 1,2,3 and 7 areas. The pilot project phase is a time for learning and responding to ground realities in a Sri Lankan context of implementing what is essentially an internationally tried and tested model. Many exciting areas of experimentation are currently being considered such as GPS tracking, electronic locking devices as well as the wider application of pedal power to reduce the city’s carbon foot-print.
Safety continues to be a priority and the wearing of a helmet is compulsory. The urgent need at present is for the authorities to introduce cycle lanes, ideally four feet in width and buffered by the parking lines. We need to take cycling in Colombo from an extreme sport to one that will become a viable form of commuter transport.