Good news and bad news off TfL this Christmas. Which would you like to hear first?
The good news is hundreds of new docking points are planned for 2015, as the scheme continues to successfully expand. In particular, Putney Pier, Vauxhall and Tower Bridge will see new stations, as will Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
A further 1000 docking stations are also in the planning stage, which could be delivered across London, by early 2016.
After a brief dip in 2013, the Cycle Hire Scheme has recorded record levels of usage, with over a million journeys being taken during each summer month.
Further good news is that pricing for any journey longer than 30 minutes has been simplified. It will now cost £2 per each extra 30 minute interval. Let’s be honest, that’s a nice improvement as I doubt anybody could tell you off the top of their heads what a 2 hour journey would cost currently.
Aside from simplification, which is the main thing being pitched by TfL, there are price drops for journeys over two hours long and up to 12 hours.
The bad news is that the price for a journey that lasts between 30 to 60 minutes will be doubling from £1 to £2. Also, if you were to hire a bike for 24 hours, you’d now be paying nearly double.
Fortunately, this affects a small number of users as 97% of journeys made by scheme members fall within the 30 minute included period. For casual members, which TfL defines as those who hire bikes using their bank card, the number drops to 76%. Clearly members are more conscious of keeping to the 30 minute inclusive limit.
Another change is that the £10, 7 day access period option will be removed. Members will still be able to either hire a bike for a £2 daily access or a £90 annual membership.
TfL have stated that the changes will not increase revenues from the Cycle Hire Scheme.
On the same date in 2014, the Cycle Hire Scheme access charge doubled from £1 to £2, so I’m sure many users will be pleased to see that 2015 will see no further increase in that area.
Barclays sponsorship comes to an end
2015 will also see the Barclays sponsorship of the scheme coming to an end. TfL have yet to announce a replacement sponsor, though Coca Cola is one of the brands that has announced their interest. It is expected TfL will announce the new sponsor in the summer of 2015.
Edit: We made a big error in our initial pricing table which showed incorrect pricing for 2015 journeys which are over 3 hours. Thanks to commenters for spotting this.
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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.