Thane city in Maharashtra joins the premier league of global cities that have installed a Bicycle Service Station for the cycling community. Termed as a ‘Public Cycle Utility Service Station’, the ‘Self-Service’ model is free of charge and open 24/7.
The Bicycle Service Station is installed at Hiranandani Meadows Circle – Near Kashinath Ghanekar Natya Gruha, Thane West and accessible to all kinds of cyclists. Being one-of-its-kind utility service, it is locally designed and easy to use. Cyclists can handle quick fixes and repairs independently – like flat tyres and tightening of bolts. The facilities include – air pump, multi-toolkit and a repair stand. The station is added on Google maps and can double-up as a point of confluence for recreational cyclists.
Speaking about the initiative, Siddharth Dilip Ovalekar, Corporator of Thane city said, “It is indeed a great initiative reducing hurdles of common man and we at ‘Shiv Sena’ Yuva shall be more than delighted to represent as ‘Goodwill Ambassador’ for this brilliant action in Thane”.
The idea to install a Self-Service station appeared to Chirag Shah, Bicycle Mayor of Thane when he saw an online video of cyclists using such a facility in Barcelona. The idea stuck with him and he approached the local municipality for consent. With the help of ‘Wheels and Barrels’ cycling club members, together they designed the Bicycle Service Station to suit the everyday-elementary needs of cyclists.
“As a Bicycle Mayor of Thane, It is my 1st Project and initiative, and this 24 hours free Public Utility Service Station being installed is like my dream coming true. This will surely help commuter cyclists especially to zomata, swiggy, milkman alike; and will be useful for those who work after-hours or early morning when cycle repair shops are closed. It will add value to our ecosystem and hopefully Thane residents will get motivated to cycle more. This wouldn’t have happen without one of the Young Corporater from Thane City – Mr. Siddharth Dilip Ovalekar as he himself is a fitness freak and understands the needs of a cyclist. He has assured Thane Bicycle community to bring more such utilities and provide full support throughout.”
Thane is a developing metropolitan city connected to Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra by an extensive network of railways and roadways. Hundreds of leisure and fitness cyclists enter the city to explore its natural habitat like lakes, parks, forests-hills and heritage structures such as forts, temples, churches etc. Likewise, several lively-hood cyclists ride across the length and breadth of the city of lakes
The urban city with a population of over 3 Mn people is developing at a rapid pace with upcoming Metro stations which will benefit residential and commercial complexes.
“Our long term goal is to partner with residential societies and offices to ramp-up utility services. Alongside, we are planning to have multiple utility stations in the city in the next 2 years and boost ridership by providing relevant infrastructure” Chirag added.
Photo, Video credits: Chirag Shah
Author: Vijay Malhotra, Mumbai