Cycle sharing is a public transport system in which people have access to cycles that can be used across a network of closely spaced stations. With a smart card or other form of identification, a user can check out a cycle from a station and return it to any other station. The Corporation of Chennai (COC) is planning a public cycle sharing system with approximately 3,000 cycles and an initial coverage area of about 19 square kilometres. Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu state, has a population of 4.6 million, with nearly 9 million inhabitants in the larger metropolitan area.
Cycle sharing is considered a key element in Chennai’s strategy to expand the use of sustainable transport modes. The system will help COC achieve the goals laid out in the city’s Non-Motorised Transport Policy, namely an increase in the mode share of non-motorised modes from 34 to 40 per cent of all trips by 2018, and an increase of public transport use from 41 to 60 per cent of motorised trips over the same time period. Cycle sharing is expected to boost the use of public transport by providing crucial last-mile connectivity, thereby expanding the catchment areas for the region’s rapid transit systems.
By encouraging a shift to sustainable modes, the cycle sharing system will reduce dependency on automobiles, reduce traffic congestion, vehicle emissions, and demand for motor vehicle parking while also improving health and wellness of cyclists. A cycle sharing system will offer the convenience of cycling without the burden of ownership and the flexibility to accommodate one-way trips. The report outlines in details the features of cycle sharing systems and its feasibility for implementation in Chennai.