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Mumbai Based Green Champion Is Striving To Make The City The Cycling Capital By 2030

Highlights

  1. Firoza Suresh founded the smart Commute foundation in 2016
  2. Firoza enjoyed cycling since the age of seven
  3. She is the Bicycle Mayor of Mumbai
Mumbai: 

Firoza Suresh, who has been enjoying cycling since the age of seven is now the Bicycle Mayor of Mumbai! She founded Smart Commute Foundation in 2016 that is working in the sustainability space by conceptualizing and implementing programs that promote a healthier, greener and happier city. She has been encouraging people to adopt cycling as a means of their daily commute. Cycling as recommended by the world health organisation is a physical activity that prevents many diseases and also improves mental health and well being. Firoza Suresh, Bicycle Mayor of Mumbai and Founder Director, Smart Commute foundation shared with NDTV,

I like the fact that people cycle for leisure or fitness as a hindrance of buying a cycle is taken care of but the transit from leisure to cycle to work has some challenging like the parking facility, bicycles not being allowed in the premises. 

According to experts the biggest deterrent to more people cycling is the lack of infrastructure in India. Zohra Mutabanna, Urban designer and transportation planner added,

We think of roads as a place where cars or buses need to drive but we can leave a part of the street for an active mode of transportation like cycling and walking as these are more environmentally friendly. Our streets are designed for cars not cycling so we need to think of how we can incorporate trees for shade, more safety and more right of way more comfortable to allow their kids to cycle on the streets.

As the Bicycle Mayor and a catalyst for change, Firoza has many plans. She said,

We have a mandate of 50 by 30 which means 50% of commute trips should be on bicycles by 2030.. its an ambitious plan but only possible with behaviour change that instead of cars one can pick up cycles for less than 5 km, running errands but policy intervention is also required.

Although the Bicycle Mayor of the city Firoza acknowledges the challenges Mumbai faces with its lack of cycling infrastructure, she has a clear mission to inspire people to ditch their cars on getting on their bicycles.

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