USC Price alum, faculty help shape India’s first public bicycle share project

May 17, 2018


USC Price School of Public Policy alumnus Sonal Kulkarni and adjunct faculty Vinayak Bharne have helped shape India’s first public bicycle sharing project in the City of Mysuru.

Kulkarni graduated from the Price School with a Master in Planning (MPL) in 2011 and returned to India to anchor the Advocacy, Communication and Participatory Planning Vertical at the Directorate of Urban Land Transport (DULT) for the Government of Karnataka. Under DULT’s former Commissioner, Ms. V. Manjula, Kulkarni contributed to India’s first and longest-running active transport awareness initiative, “Cycle Day,” established in October 2013.

In 2015, DULT brought in Price Adjunct Associate Professor Vinayak Bharne as their urban design/planning consultant. Bharne and Kulkarni, along with other DULT staff, helped generate urban design strategies to support the planning of India’s first public bicycle share plan in the City of Mysuru, which boasts a population of 1.2 million people. Through DULT’s innovative “Monsoon Studio” initiative, the DULT team collaborated with students and faculty from the local architecture school to generate ideas for the plan.

The Mysuru public bicycle share plan – named “Trin Trin,” after the sound of bicycle brass bells – has been active since June 2017. It was implemented through the joint efforts of DULT staff and the Mysuru City Corporation, and partially funded by the World Bank. In total, 450 bicycles can be borrowed from 52 docking stations set up across the city for a nominal fee.

Kulkarni currently serves as the lead planner for a similar public bicycle sharing system for the City of Bengaluru, which is home to nine million people.