Allow bicycles on Chennai Metro Rail again, request cyclists

After lockdown restrictions were relaxed and services resumed in September, passengers have not been allowed to carry bicycles with them

November 24, 2020 04:16 pm | Updated 04:16 pm IST - CHENNAI

A file photograph of a commuter with a bicycle on Chennai Metro Rail

A file photograph of a commuter with a bicycle on Chennai Metro Rail

Since Chennai Metro Rail operations have resumed in the city, cyclists have written to the Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) requesting them to allow bicycles again on the trains.

In February, the CMRL allowed passengers to carry compact bicycles inside the train in the special class. This was aimed at encouraging people to use sustainable and eco-friendly transportation and was introduced after many passengers demanded the facility.

However, after the lockdown restrictions were relaxed and services resumed in September, the passengers were not allowed to carry bicycles with them. “When I took a cycle to the CMRL station in Alandur, some staff said that I could not take it. They cited the COVID-19 pandemic as a reason,” said S. Sudeesh, a resident of Madipakkam.

S. Sreeja, another cyclist from Alwarpet, said that though commuters had to pay twice the normal fare, the feature was helpful. “I could cycle from home to the nearest CMRL station and carry my cycle to my office in K.K. Nagar. It would be helpful if the CMRL starts allowing cycles again,” she said.

Felix John, Bicycle Mayor for Chennai, has written a letter to the CMRL requesting them to start allowing cycles. “The CMRL made headlines by its first-of-its-kind initiative, allowing bicycles on board and enabling users to choose their private sustainable mode of transport for first and last mile connectivity. The community was definitely excited and slowly started to adapt the multi-modal transport use,” he said. He said that cyclists were thinking of using the service after Metro operations resumed. “But we were told that the service was discontinued until further notice. Resuming the service will be beneficial now. The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs and Greater Chennai Corporation are giving importance for non-motorised transport,” he pointed out.

Meanwhile, the Bengaluru and Kochi Metro Rail have been allowing bicycles on the train. “In Bengaluru, we allow only foldable cycles that can pass through the scanner,” said a Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited official. In the Kochi Metro, however, all types of cycles are allowed, said an official.

An official from CMRL said that once the pandemic is under control, the request will be considered.

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