Free for first 30 minutes – TfL hire scheme details revealed

TfL has today revealed the pricing details of the new cycle hire scheme that is due to be launched next summer. The good news is the first 30 minutes hire-time will be free.

After that things don’t look quite as rosy. You have to choose a membership fee to access the bikes. There is a £1 per day option or £5 week. Money can be saved by choosing the annual membership option at £45. This is quite steep compared to the 30 euro’s you pay in Paris. But, this is London and we love paying lots to get around!

Once you have paid for the membership then there are further charges depending on the amount of use.

If your journey lasts one hour then it will cost £1. For 90 minutes the price is £4 and £6 for up to two hours. The charges then increase incrementally for a period of up to 24 hours.

Late fees

If you return a bike late the fee is £150. This also applies if your membership fee runs out while you are using one of the hire bikes.

Free 30 minutes

The free 30 minutes is actually really good news because as reports in 30 minutes you could get from London Bridge to Hyde Park.

Overall I think the scheme is good for reaching out to people that wouldn’t consider cycling to be an option. For the more seasoned cyclists amongst us the only difference we are likely to notice is a few more wobbly cyclists on the roads. The only time I can see myself using it is if for whatever reason I don’t have my bike with me and I want a quick way to get home.

Can you guys see yourselves using the cycle hire scheme? If so when?

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11 Responses to Free for first 30 minutes – TfL hire scheme details revealed

  1. Adam Edwards 11/12/2009 at 4:24 pm #

    I won’t use it as I have my trusty Brompton. However, in Paris, I’ve read use went up massively after the first metro strike, when all the bikes were suddenly in use. As we have far less strikes, perhaps our use will peak each time a tube line is shut.

    I’m sure it will be well used. The problem will be how well the bikes last and how many are stolen. Paris bikes have been turning up in Africa apparently.


  2. Angi 11/12/2009 at 5:42 pm #

    parts of the pricing see a bit steep. Where they place the park places for these bikes is also going to be a major issue…will it only be in most central parts of London or will it stretch out further? Will there actually be a place to drop the bike off/return it close to where you live? (not you personally…but generally speaking)…and the questions can go on.

    Also people really like to vandalise public transport here…so no matter how durable they make these bikes, I think some deviant person is going to come up with a way to vandalise them and yes…steal them too.

    There’s also the matter of safety on the bikes…will they have lights? What about helmets? I saw the hefty bikes in Paris a couple of years back but failed to take note about lights…

  3. Rob 11/12/2009 at 8:04 pm #

    I’m relieved that the first half hour is free – that wasn’t definite in the early discussions. The price structure is clearly modelled closely on Paris’s Velib scheme, which I blogged about recently (and which I’m sure you’re familiar with, Andreas!).

    We know there will be problems – bikes will be stolen and vandalised, somebody will have an accident, and certain newspapers will rage about wobbly new cyclists spoiling the roads.

    But I’m positive about the scheme and can see many occasional ways it would be very useful to even me, as a happy everyday cyclist.

    When I have friends coming to London for instance, and we can bike together; when my bike’s out of action, being serviced for instance; or for retrieval of a bike left at an unexpectedly convivial party where I decided the wisest way home was by public transport, or a lift from someone much more sober than me!

  4. Simon 11/12/2009 at 10:48 pm #

    I often commute to work on my road bike, but it’s not the most suitable thing for running errands on during the day. I’d happily pay £45 for an annual membership, and then use the bikes a couple of times a week to get across town.

    The neat trick will be if you can borrow a bike from a nearby point, then drop it off near your destination. On the way back you just reverse things, but each journey will be well under 30 minutes and you don’t need to worry about securing the bike whilst you’re at your destination.

  5. Titan yer Tummy 12/12/2009 at 9:27 am #

    By and large this scheme is not for those of us who are members of this on-line community. The real question is will it find favour with, and form part of, a joined up transport system for central London?

    These bikes will look more like the weird derny motorcycle that leads off the men’s keirin than a smart, trendy mean machine and unfortunately I suspect that the pan-London ‘look cool’ psyche (hmmm not sure about that word) will preclude vast swathes of the travelling masses from participation in the scheme.

    I also harbour serious misgivings about the hirer not recieving a helmet as part of the hire package. By definaition the users of these bikes are likely to be less experienced and therefore in greater need of the protection provided by a helmet and the media will have a field day with the casualty figures. God forbid that there is a fatality on the first day or even in the the first week.

    I know this all sounds terribly negative and really I hope the scheme is a success but I do feel that someone needs to take reality check here.

  6. Ian Stanley 14/12/2009 at 7:29 pm #

    May consider it for one offs but I am planning on getting a Mezzo D9 or D10 asap

  7. thereverent 17/12/2009 at 10:38 am #

    My first reaction was that I’d never use them. If I’m on my bike I have no need, and if I’m going by tube/bus I would stick to that.
    But it may be useful if I’m in the centre on foot and not that near a useful tube station. I could get on one to get to a better transport connection. I can’t see that I’d use one over 30 mins (although Rob’s point aboput visitors is a good one). So maybe just around the centre to avoid very slow buses and tube line closures at the weekend if I’m not on my bike already.
    I do want to try them out when they first arrive now.

  8. Wendy 08/01/2010 at 7:16 am #

    This would be great for me coming down to London regularly as opposed to living there. I think this is a brilliant idea although I agree, where you can pick up and drop off bikes is going to be key.
    You guys in London have no idea about public transport systems by the way – compared to the rest of the UK your system is fantastic. You moan about waiting for a bus for 5 minutes – up here in the grim North you are lucky if one comes every hour!

  9. Andreas 08/01/2010 at 9:04 am #

    Wendy, I know I used to live in Birmingham and completely gave up on the bus system, one every 30 minutes if that. The transport system is definitely very good, especially the night buses that are life savers. It’s just its better by bike!

  10. Titan yer Tummy 08/01/2010 at 9:47 am #

    Dear Wendy, I don’t know far up North you live (I am from South London and find I get a bit giddy at the Euston Rd) but you are most welcome to come and join us in the South with our lovely public transport system:-). The cycling probably isn’t so good though!

  11. john harrison 21/07/2010 at 2:56 pm #

    Remember unlike the paris cycle scheme you will need a valid credit/debit card to hire these cycles and any surplus charges will be debited from your account including if you fail to return the bike on time(£150). so anyone thinking of stealing should think twice.

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