Around 3,000 cycles will be stationed at 200 places and can be accessed with smart card system

In nine months, if the Chennai Corporation keeps the promise it made to residents, parts of the city may be completely navigable by bicycle. At least, many portions of the city will be connected in an economical way.

A total of 3,000 modern bicycles will be stationed at 200 places. Users can have access to the system if they use smart cards obtained on payment of a fee. Using the smart card, one can take a bicycle from any location she wants to proceed to, and leave it at the closest docking station, officials explain.

Cycle sharing is likely to boost use of public transport such as bus and rail by improving last-mile connectivity. Several companies participated in the bid to provide bicycles, develop docking stations, a control centre, electronic payment system, operations and maintenance marketing and provide customer service.

The neighbourhoods of Thousand Lights, Egmore, Mylapore, Royapettah, Kamarajar Salai, government offices and Fort complex will be covered by the network in the first phase. The cycle sharing programme is likely to be expanded to all parts of the city with a larger fleet of cycles. The user charges are likely to be affordable, according to Corporation officials.

Residents, meanwhile, wondered if the civic body will create cycle lanes to facilitate safe travel, at least on main roads.