The need for personalised forms of transport is expected to increase as a response to COVID-19. A recent survey by the ITDP India Programme shows that cycling would increase by 50-65 percent as cities come out of lockdown. This is corroborated by the actual response on the ground with a sudden spike in the use of cycles.
Cities around the world are leveraging this opportunity to expand their cycling networks and public bicycle-sharing systems. Paris is creating 650km of pop-up cycleways. Bogota and New York have expanded their cycle sharing systems and have offered subsidies to frontline workers. Bicycle-share systems in Beijing alone saw users rise by roughly 150%.
It is time for Indian cities to start creating a cycling-friendly environment to encourage people to use this clean and healthy mode of transport and ensure that people can access jobs, education, and essential services safely. Now, more than ever, cities must prioritise urban resilience through sustainable and equitable transport to overcome this current crisis and to be better poised to face the future.
Revised Challenge Brief as on 20th July'20