London's Cycle Hire Scheme Free for First Half Hour
11 December 2009 | Source: Transport for London
Transport for London (TfL) has announced that London's Cycle Hire scheme will be free for the first half an hour of use when it launches next summer.
The pricing structure for the Capital's latest system of public transport was agreed at yesterday's (10 December) TfL Board meeting.
People wanting to use one of the 6,000 new hire cycles will only need to pay a £1 daily or £5 weekly access fee, or take out a £45 annual membership to be able to use the scheme.
There will be no additional charge provided the bicycle is returned within 30 minutes.
The charging structure means that:
- A daily user could use a hire bicycle for multiple trips of under 30 minutes in one day for £1
- A weekly user could use the cycle hire scheme for the equivalent of just 71p a day
- Annual members will pay as little as 12p a day to have access to a hire bicycle
After the first free half hour of rental, the London Cycle Hire scheme will cost £1 for a journey of between 30 minutes and one hour, £4 for up to 90 minutes, and £6 for up to two hours.
The hire charges then increase incrementally up to a maximum hire period of 24 hours.
This charging structure has been chosen in order to ensure as many people as possible can use the scheme, as very few journeys in central London take more than 30 minutes.
Examples of journeys that can be carried out within thirty minutes, taken from TfL's cycling Journey Planner, include:
- The Regent's Park to Notting Hill Gate, 25 minutes
- London Bridge to Hyde Park, 27 minutes
- Tower Hill to Bond Street, 23 minutes
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: 'Our cycle hire scheme is set to be one of the most exciting, affordable and energising ways to get around town.
'It is amazing how far your bike can take you in 30 minutes if you put in a bit of pedal power; and to be able to do so free of charge on one of our fantastic new bikes is simply sensational value for money.'
Members of the scheme, who will pre-register to use the scheme, will get a chip enabled 'key', which will allow them to save time by being able to remove a bicycle from any docking point without having to use the terminal.
People who are not members will be able to hire a London Cycle Hire bicycle by turning up at a docking station and using the payment terminal to hire a cycle.
Payment for hiring a bicycle will be made by credit card or debit card.
Members of the scheme, who will pay the annual user charge, will also have the option of paying by direct debit.