Mr. Jaap Werner, Consul General of Embassy of Kingdom of the Netherlands announced Mr.Sathya Shankaran as Bengaluru’s first ever bicycle mayor. The bicycle mayor arrived at the stage on his bicycle to receive the honour.
Mr. Sathya Shankran is one of the most famous faces in the field of sustainability. Mr.Sathya Shankarn drives inspiration from people who depend on bicycles to earn their living. Mr. Shankaran was chosen from six applicants who were shortlisted. He is the third bicycle mayor of India after Nikita Lalwani of Vadodara and Arshel Akhter of Guwahati.
The Role of Cycle Mayor
The role of the bicycle mayor will be for two years. This voluntary role of Satya will be a link between civic authorities, activists, and communities to encourage cycling in the city. It will correspondingly aim at providing safe cycling infrastructure for the users in Bangalore. The bicycle mayor program was initiated by Dutch NGO ByCS. The main aim is to promote 50% of the population to use non-motorised transport by 2030.
Moreover, the 40 km commute to work every day in his bicycle by Shankaran helps to reflect on the mobility crisis faced by Indian cities such as pollution and congestion. Satya was also part of non-motorised transport (NMT) developed by Directorate of Urban Land Transport.
The Mayor will have a Council for Change
Satya is well aware of bringing various stakeholders to increase the number of cyclists in the city. As a matter of fact, on his first task, Satya will work together with other nominees of the contest. Likewise, he will also seek the help of other active members of the field. The team will focus on improving cycling culture in the city to form a Council for Change.
The council will aim to organize activities and provide more strength in all possible ways. Furthermore, the principles of safety and priority of the cyclists and pedestrians of the city will be the main driver of the initiative.
Additionally, the BBMP has also come up with plans to launch a bike sharing network in the city. The network will include 6000 fleets of bicycles. According to Shankaran, there are three major challenges in boosting the number of cyclists in the city. They are behavior, policy, and economics. Shankaran hopes to make people aware of the vicious effects of pollution and congestion so as to increase the number of cycle users.
Policies and Budget
Shankaran has set his eye on introducing a comprehensive Non-Motorised Transport Policy. He also hopes to deliver sufficient budget for cycling and pedestrianization through BBMP.
Shankaran aims to start his tenure by reaching out to school children. In fact, he will take efforts to teach the kids from classes 1 to 10 various subjects such as Physics, Math, Biology, Environment etc. Likewise, he hopes to create a shared street concept in Bengaluru to have cycling tracks.