STAFF REPORTER
PALMA'S public bicycle service will start operating at the end of the year and will initially cover 15 city suburbs, the City Council confirmed yesterday.

The Indra company has been awarded the contract of managing the installations which already include 336 bicycles, 470 cycle stands, and 28 pick-up and drop off points. The company has apparently offered even more facilities in the terms and conditions of its contract.

The areas which the public cycle service will cover are in the centre of Palma and those near the Avenidas. They include Foners, Pere Garau, Marques de Fontsanta, Arxiduc, Bons Aires, Es Forti, Camp d'en Serralta, Santa Catalina, Jaume III, Born, Plaça dels Patins, Cort, Sant Nicolau, Sindicat and Mercat.

Transport Director, Jose Hila, said yesterday that the City Council will consider enlarging the public cycle network depending on how well it is received.

Hila then explained that people who make use of the cycle service will have to have a Citizen's Card as it has to be swiped over a computerised meter every time a bicycle has to be picked up or returned. The cycle network, he explained, is the final step in the Council's policy of introducing an integral public transport system to Palma, whereby citizens can combine a selection of municipal transport options to get around the city.

The Transport Councillor confirmed that residents in Palma who switch use from one line of the EMT public bus company to another are entitled to a free half-hour use of the bicycle service.

The City Council wants the public to become involved in choosing the name of the new public cycle network. Details can be seen on the Council's web page. Suggested names are already up on the screen and site visitors can choose between such alternatives as “Bicipalma,” “Bicity,” “Rodapalma” and “Palmabike.” Voting will remain open until one minute before midnight on 30th September. The following day, the name that has been given the most support will be announced.

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