In a week and a half, to grab a Boris Bike you won’t have to be an existing member of the Barclays Cycle Hire scheme.
The Mayor and Transport for London have announced that the Mayor’s flagship cycle hire scheme will go live to “casual users” on Friday 3rd December.
As of this date anyone with a Visa or MasterCard credit or debit card will be able to go to their nearest docking station and follow the on-screen instructions at the terminal to release a bike. The bikes are available 24 hours a day; seven days a week. Once the user has purchased their access period (for either 24 hours or seven days) the first 30 minutes of any journey will be free of usage charges.
The Bike Hub iPhone satnav and bike shop locator app also has location-data for all Boris Bike stands.
Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “It is fantastic that the Barclays Cycle Hire scheme has not only proved incredibly popular but the system has shown itself to be rigorous and robust. Now it has been thoroughly tried and tested by more than a hundred thousand members we are ready for the next stage where anyone who fancies taking to two wheels can do so in an instant with a simple swipe of their card.”
TfL’s Managing Director of Surface Transport, David Brown, said: “Barclays Cycle Hire is transforming the way we travel around the Capital. The scheme is terrifically good value; around 95 per cent of all journeys made by Barclays Cycle Hire members have been under 30 minutes, which means that the vast majority of people using the scheme aren’t paying any more than their 24 hour £1, seven day £5 or annual £45 access fees.”
Deanna Oppenheimer, Vice-Chair, Global Retail Banking, CEO Western Europe and CEO UK Retail Banking at Barclays, said: “Barclays Cycle Hire is transforming London.”
Becoming a Barclays Cycle Hire member remains as the fastest way to access a bike with no queuing at the on street terminals (if any bikes can be found from 3rd December onwards). UK residents can start using the cycle hire scheme as a member for £4 – the cost of buying the membership key (£3) and their first 24 hour access period (£1). Currently the scheme has more than 100,000 members who have already made over 1.7 million journeys.