Sunday, February 27, 2011

London Offers 21st Century Bike Share with Barclay's Cycle Hire

Not to be outdone by Paris with its Velib bike share program, London Transport opened up an automated bike share program on July 30, 2010 with 5,000 bicycles at 315 docking stations.  Like most modern bike share programs, the "scheme" (as the Brits call it) is designed for short hops in the City of London.

According to Wikipedia, the bikes are called "Boris bikes" for Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London at the time.

The sponsor of the program is Barclay's financial services who put up something on the order of 25 million UK pounds to finance the program.   

Even more interestingly, on February 27, 2011 Boris Johnson is quoted in the as saying that Barclay's should contribute another 25 million pounds to double their investment.  According to Bloomberg Johnson said he wants to see more of the money being paid in bonuses in the financial sector shared with other Londoners, both through donations from highly paid employees and corporate sponsorship for programs such as this.  As Johnson noted, "these people have received substantial sums of money from the tax payer to keep the whole banking industry afloat.”

Now that's a new spin on financing public bike share programs!

Barclay's Cycle Hire works like the Paris program.  You can buy a one day, one week or annual membership.  Using the bike is free for the first 30 minutes then costs 1 pound for an hour, 4 pounds for 90 minutes and so on. 

For complete details of Barclay's Cycle Hire visit their web site. 

1 comment:

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