In the COVID era E-Bikes are better options than public transport

However, we haven’t yet won the war against the pandemic, the country is getting up geared to normalcy. There is a new normal, and it is quite different from the era that existed before 25th March 2020. Though there are divergent views on Unlockdown 1.0, the fact of the matter is the country cannot remain closed for along period. There will be intermittent lockdowns before we finally win over Corona. In between them, life has to run. You have to go out to your offices and other places & you are scared enough but there is no choice.

Now, those who have their vehicles aren’t much bothered about the infection. But those who travel in public transports systems have a challenge at their hands. Are they safe while travelling is the moot question?

Though there is no substantive data that tells how many Indians use public transport for daily commuting, there are figures that speak about metros and tier 1 towns. For instance, in Delhi, about 2.8 million people use metros, & a few million travel on local city buses daily. Similarly, out of 18.4 million population, almost 75 million Mumbaikars use local trains.

Before COVID era, public transport was considered to be the best and safest way of commuting. Take for an example the case of Kolkata, as per one of the surveys conducted by TOI in 2018, residents of Kolkata preferred public transport as the best medium of travel. Does the same hold now in the COIVD era?

As per another survey conducted by Economic times; post the COVID, 74% of respondents in Delhi want to have their vehicles. Even if we extrapolate the data to the daily commuters in the country, what about the rest? They hardly have options other than travelling by the Indian public transport system.

There is no doubt that the world after COVID will change and sooner new norms and SOPs of behaving in public places will be accepted. Friends, for the rest of our lives we are going to live in the COVID era. In these times, the public transport system will pass through a litmus test. We all are aware of how developed Indian cities public transport system is?

Take for an example the case of a Metro. Delhi Govt is contemplating to run metros with half the capacity. If it happens, then how many additional metros can it provide daily to hit the track so that it can ferry remaining 1.4 million? The situation will be grimmer in Mumbai.

Now let’s understand how a city bus will operate. Whereas the capacity of it is not more than 60 passengers, they are overcrowded to that extent that passengers barely breathe. By the same formula of running on half the capacity, additional buses will be a challenge.

Far worse is the situation of smaller public transport mediums. Often in tier 2 towns, we find people hanging outside the auto rickshaws. These kinds of scenarios pose the gravest threat to community health as there is the greatest danger of community spread of communicable disease like COVID.

Surely, Governments cannot remain ignorant of these situations. But as they say that Rome wasn’t built in a day, it will take some time before governments fix up these issues. By then there is a danger that a lot of water would have flown down the bridge.

In these times, cycling becomes one of the best options available. Other than keeping you fit, it helps in maintaining physical distancing. Since Electric cycles are battery fitted, they help in travelling medium distances of about 20-30 kilometers in a shorter time.

Electric Cycles are surely the best options in tier 2 and smaller towns.There distances are short hence one can avoid travelling in public transport systems& prefer E-bikes.  Moreover, electric cycles score any day higher than four and two-wheelers-one they are cheaper and second, they keep the environment clean and green. Overall, we can conclude that Electric Cycles are going to be the future of commuting. Stay safe, stay healthy and & follow the social distancing is the mantra in these trying times.

Happy Cycling!

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