Even as Imagine Panaji Smart City Development Limited (IPSCDL) works to start a public bicycle sharing system for the capital, Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC), has approached the Corporation of the City of Panaji (CCP) for space to set up e-bicycle stands and charging outlets in the city.
Plans to offer the electric cycles on rent for 1,799 INR and above for three hours have raised concerns about affordability among authorities. Given the high price point, locals and even tourists may avoid renting the bicycles said a senior government officer who is evaluating the project.
GTDC plans to introduce battery-operated cycle tours for tourists and locals in Panaji. There are four curated tours, including a bicycle tour of Old Goa and Divar.
To operate the electric bicycles under the b:live EBike Tours brand, Acris Tours Pvt Ltd is looking for six to eight locations around the capital to set up cycle stands and charging spots. “They have approached us for parking space for e-bike system,” CCP commissioner Ajit Roy said, adding, “It is under consideration. It will be put up before the CCP council.”
As per GTDC’s initial proposal, the electric bicycle operator has to provide bike share services for tourists and the general public on a revenue-sharing basis.
“We have received a proposal from CCP to align this proposal with the Public Bicycle Sharing (PBS) system under the Smart City mission,” said IPSCDL chief executive officer and managing director, Swayandipta Pal Chaudhuri.
The IPSCDL board deliberated on the proposal, but has yet to formally take a decision. “For us, the cost is a very important implication. It has to be for public good and if it is unaffordable then it is of no good,” Chaudhuri said.
“The city cannot have multiple public bicycle systems and if there are, then the systems have to talk to each other. The cycles should be cross compatible,” Chaudhuri said.