Chennai: Very soon, those taking suburban, MRTS and Chennai metro rail can hire bicycle to reach their destinations. Bicycle sharing system, quite popular in western countries, is being brought to this southern metropolis to promote green mode of travel.
Greater Chennai Corporation is set to come up wi-th cycle stands at 348 locations – bus stops, railway stations, MRTS stations and metro rail stations – where one can hire cycle by paying minimum cost. Around 3,000 modern cycles, with an initial coverage area of about 19 square kilometers, will be let into the system as part of efforts to promote public transport system.
The cycles can be hired using smart cards, which will be generated after payment of fixed fees, at parking stations. These smart cards can later be used to return and check out from parking stations. The services will be free of cost for the first 30 minutes, officials involved in the process said.
“The Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) is associated with Greater Chennai Corporation to develop the cycle sharing system, with specially desi-gned parking stands and cycles. This system will help the corporation to promote the use of public transport,” D. K. Mohan, superintending engineer, Greater Chennai Corporation, told Deccan Chronicle.
“The project is in its preliminary stage and we are currently working on marking parking management systems with regard to cycle sharing. Meanwhile, the cycle track in K K Nagar is to be opened for public use shortly,” he added.
Metro rail, suburban, MRTS and bus are the major modes of transport opted by lakh of passengers everyday in the city and therefore it will be highly beneficial for regular commuters, officials say.
The facility will initially be provided at places around Marina Beach, Mylapore and T Nagar, which will be expanded to public transport hubs such as Chennai Egmore, Chennai Central and bus terminals in Broadway, Mandaveli, and Anna Square at a later stage.
ITDP says that academic institutions, government offices and shopping malls like Express Avenue, Spencer’s Plaza, and City Centre will also be connected under this system.
CMRL had launched a similar project, which offered cycle sharing facility to travel to nearby places and then return it back to the station.
“The project by Greater Chennai Corporation is different from the one initiated by CMRL. The parking facility will be will be run by Corporation, for which the parking space will be provided at metro stations to facilitate the people, “ said managing director of CMRL, Pankaj Kumar Bansal.
Cycling a green change
Chennai cycle sharing system will have the following features
A dense network of stations across the coverage area, with spacing of approximately 300m between stations
Cycles with specially designed parts and sizes to discourage theft.
A fully automated locking system at stations
Radio frequency identification devices (RFIDs) to track where a cycle is picked up, where it is returned, and the identity of the user
Real-time monitoring of station occupancy rates through General Packet Radio Service (GPRS), used to guide the redistribution of cycles
Real-time user information provided through various platforms, including the web, mobile phones, and/or on-site terminals.