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An eco-friendly commute in Mysuru

Early June, Chief Minister Siddharamiah launched the country’s first public cycle-sharing scheme in Mysuru. Unlike many of the other schemes being developed  for smart cities, the cycle sharing system is owned by the civic administration and its associates. A Mysuru-based enterprise engaged in the manufacture of battery-operated bicycles will work on Trin-Trin (the fancy name of the scheme) and promote the concept of cycling. There will be 52 hubs in the city and 450 bikes, including 20 geared ones, to begin with. Residents and tourists can hire cycles from any of the hubs or docking stations which will be sited across the city at vantage points and return them at any hub convenient to them. The hubs will be operated through a fully automated system. The user needs to register at stipulated counters by paying Rs 350, including a refundable deposit of Rs 250 and buy a smart card to be punched when hiring a cycle or returning it. There will be no charge for less than an hour of hire, Rs 5 for up to two hours, Rs 10 for three hours, etc. 

Compared to other transport networks, cycle sharing schemes are reasonably low-cost and easy to implement which is why the system has seen a boom worldwide, most widely popular in China. While short trips will bring in more money since they will mean more trips per day per cycle, there is scope to raise funds through advertising on the cycles and in the hubs. It is a win-win situation with a hidden benefit for urban planners: by boosting last-minute connectivity, the pressure on the city can be eased by rendering the suburbs within reach. The only hassles: chaotic road traffic and pathetic road conditions plus theft and vandalism. 

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