Laura Maudlin - Aug 9, 2010

Londoners now have the possibility to hire bikes for their trips in the city. London Mayor Boris Johnson launched the scheme in which 5,000 bikes were made available to registered users. In a few weeks casual users will be able to hire the bikes as well.


People may now borrow a bicycle from self-service docking points in London. Mayor Boris Johnson has launched the bike hire scheme on 30th July. The bicycles should become a new means of public transport in the capital. More than 12,000 people already registered for the project. The town hall has more than 5,000 bicycles ready for the scheme.

During the official launch of the scheme, Mr. Johnson said that his „crusade for the capital to become the greatest big cycling city in the world has taken a gigantic pedal-powered push forwards." According to server, some 12,450 people registered to receive the electronic key for £3 that unlocks one of the bicycles at one of the docking points. To borrow the bike for an hour you have to pay £1, for 2 hours you pay £6, for 3 hours £15 and for a day £50. The prices favour shorter trips within the city, which is exactly what the London authorities want. The city administration also plans to allow the casual users to hire the bikes. However, this will not be possible earlier than in four weeks.

There are currently some 5,000 bikes at 315 docking points. The plan is to add 1,000 more bicycles to the scheme and build other 85 docking points. Weighting 23 kilos, the bicycles are quite heavy and because of that not an attractive target for thieves. They were produced by a Canadian company that guaranteed they should last for at least 15 years. The city administration hopes these bicycles will become one of the city’s symbols, similar to the famous double-deckers.

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  1. This "new' cycling sheme is one year old and it originates in Montréal, Québec, Canada. The "bixi" as it is called in Montréal has been launched in the Spring of 2009 and is a huge success since then. I find it very sad that Canada and particularly Québec are overseen in your news....

    Marilyne Desrochers (Canada)

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