Bicycle Partnership Program

Rationale of the BPP
Cycling and proverty reduction
Aims of the BPP
Intervention strategies
Capacity building
Focus regions
Strategic Alliances
Regional Activities
Latin America
BPP team

The Bicycle Partnership Program has partnerships between I-CE and: 


Urbanization in India is relatively slow, yet it is one of the largest urban systems in Asia today.  The growth of informal sector often faster than formal sector and 30-50% of the urban populace comprises of slum dwellers, ‘unauthorized’ self constructed dwellings, close to places of work. Many of these people either walk to work or use bicycles to commute to work – public transportation systems being unavailable or unaffordable.


Bicycle ownership (30-50%) in Indian cities is much higher than ownership cars (3-13%) and two-wheelers. Bicycle use in Indian cities varies from 7-15% in large cities to 13-21% in medium and small cities. Its high ownership, low cost and easy use attributes make it a desirable mode of transport for students and low income workers. So bicycle use in India is primarily utility use with the bicycle users being captive riders.


Most of the medium and large cities in India have about 56% to 72% trips which are short trips (below 5km trip length), offering a huge potential for bicycle use. Even in Delhi it is estimated that more than 45% of the trips of privately owned modes and 38% of the trips by public mode are less than 5 km. The close vicinity of academic institutions (mostly 3-4 km), easy ridership, no license requirement and no fuel requirement are all factors which make it an attractive mode of travel for students. The conversion of potential cycle trips from other modes is highly likely, if a favorable cycling infrastructure is made available.


Communities in these cities have a latent demand for bicycles and walking trips, which can be realized with suitable facilities and resources. More bicycle trips will be attracted with a coherent, direct and safe bicycle infrastructure. However, the absence of safe infrastructure and high cycle fatalities deter these potential groups from shifting to bicycle use in large Indian cities.


In the past, the presence of the bicyclist was often ignored by policy makers, planners and engineers. Therefore generally there have been no policy, programs and plans for bicycle commuters in Indian cities. However, things are changing now. The tenth 5 year plan (2003-07) and National Urban Transport Policy (NUTP, 2005) provides guidelines for the other regional and city level policy documents. They acknowledge the fact that there are non motorized commuter groups with the mobility and safety concerns which needs to be addressed by encouraging the construction of segregated rights of way for bicycles. Under the aegis of the Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), 63 cities in India have been given funds by the National Government to upgrade their infrastructure. In most cities, investments in transport infrastructure account for 50-75% of the expenditure. Since all new City Mobility Plans are required to comply with the NUTP guidelines with a focus on “equitable allocation of road space” and an emphasis on non-motorized transport, cycle inclusive planning has gained importance. However, Indian cities have little expertise to do cycle inclusive planning.


The major shortcoming of almost all the development proposals in Indian cities is that the bicycle tracks have not been planned as an integral part of the road networks. Bicycle routes if planned have not been integrated at junctions. Few attempts had been made to identify the complete bicycle network. Dedicated infrastructure for cycling exists at some bridges and flyovers as a result of traffic management strategies conceived and planned by the city traffic police or as designed and maintained by the consultant/ operator.


Interface for Cycling Expertise
Trans 3
3512 JJ Utrecht
t +31 30 230 4521
f +31 30 231 2384
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