Boris' Cycle Hire Scheme Goes Live
5,000 bikes now available at 315 docking stations
London Mayor Boris Johnson's much anticipated cycle hire scheme has gone live.
From today, July 30, Londoners using the Barclays Cycle Hire scheme can take one of 5,000 bikes available around the clock at 315 docking stations around the centre of London.
Mayor Boris hailed the launch of the scheme as "new dawn" in London’s bid to become the greatest big cycling city in the world.
The creation of an easy to use cycle hire system was a key pledge of the Mayor’s manifesto. Just over two years later, Barclays Cycle Hire is now set to transform the way that people make short trips around central London.
Over 12,000 people have already signed up to the scheme, with 6,000 keys activated and ready to use. From today Londoners using the scheme can simply take a cycle docking stations based every 300m or so throughout the centre of the Capital. This, says the Mayor means that people should never be more than a couple of minutes away from a docking station in central London.
Though there are no docking stations in Hammersmith and Fulham at the moment, there are a number in Earls Court, South Kensingon and Olympia. You can find the nearest docking stations and the number of bikes currently available at the schemes interactive map.
Speaking at the launch event this morning Boris Johnson said: " Londoners have awoken to a new dawn for the bicycle in the Capital. Overnight racks have been filled with thousands of gleaming machines that will transform the look and feel of our streets and become as commonplace on our roads as black cabs and red buses.
"My crusade for the Capital to become the greatest big cycling city in the world has taken a gigantic pedal powered push forwards."
Barclays Cycle Hire went live at 6am this morning and access is initially available to members, with casual users expected to be able to pick up bikes in around four weeks time. When complete the scheme will see 6,000 cycles and 400 docking points located across central London.
Peter Hendy, Commissioner of Transport for London, said: "We expect this fantastic new scheme to generate up to 40,000 new cycle journeys every day in London as the Capital’s cycle revolution rolls on. I have no doubt that Barclays Cycle Hire will change how people get around central London. In the week since we opened membership, more than 12,000 people have already signed up to use the scheme, which demonstrates the tremendous support and enthusiasm there is for it.
" This can only build as Londoners and visitors explore the opportunities having access to thousands of bicycles for just pennies a day will bring.
"A huge amount of work and planning has gone into creating what we believe will be the best cycle hire system in the world. Building on the experience of other world cities who have launched similar schemes, we and our operator, Serco, will use the first month of operation to see how, when and where our members use the scheme, to learn how we can best support our customers."
Londoners or visitors to the Capital who want to use central London’s brand new transport system during its first month of operation need to be members of the cycle hire scheme. This will enable TfL and Serco to understand and learn from how members engage with the scheme, including patterns of bicycle usage.
A membership key costs £3 with membership costs at £1 for a 24 hour membership, £5 for seven days and £45 for an annual membership. The first 30 minutes of any journey will be free.
To use the scheme, members will need to have received and activated their membership key, so people are urged to sign up for daily, weekly or annual memberships at Transport for London's Cycle Hire as soon as possible.
July 30, 2010