Commuting woes have prompted officials at Jinniu District's Education Bureau to advocate going green through bicycle riding among its staff, reported Sichuan Online and West China City Daily.
As long as the place of errand is within three kilometres, staff will not be assigned a car.
Head of the Bureau, Li Li, said the traffic congestion surrounding the bureau, which is near Yongling Lu and the third west section of the First Ring Road, made him consider the go-green option.
The construction at these areas in January 2011, as well as the implementation of single-direction driving at Xi Men Pian area in the vicinity, affected the staff's daily trips to schools, the city's main education bureau and other government buildings.
Traffic jams were common when driving and up to a day could be wasted, Li added.
Five bicycles were bought for the 50-odd staff's usage. In just two months, the bicycles have been used 92 times. Bus usage by the staff fell significantly.
Tang Bin, one of those who have benefitted from the go-green scheme, appreciates the exercise which he finds relaxing, in addition to the speed and convenience. He used to drive his own car for work errands.
A journey which takes more than ten minutes by car when there are no traffic jams, takes a similar amount of time by bicycle, but parking is more convenient, Tang explained.
Management of bicycles
The staff have to write down their names on record sheet in the guard room before borrowing the bicycles.
Usage is limited to work-related purposes during office hours and the bicycles have to be returned to the bureau regardless of how late it is. Staff are strictly not allowed to ride the bicycles home and will be severely punished if found to do so, said the person-in-charge.
The bureau is implementing the cycling scheme in schools under their charge.