The capital’s cycle hire scheme, which is scheduled to launch in summer 2010, will be free to use for the first half hour but will cost anyone wanting to use the service for more than 3 hours a minimum of £35 according to TfL.
Pricing for the scheme was agreed at a Transport for London board meeting yesterday.
Cyclists wishing to use the service will need to pay a £1 daily or £5 weekly access fee or take out a annual membership for £45.
Use of the service for up less than 60 minutes will cost £1, rising to £4 for less than 90 minutes. A maximum hire charge of £50 covers use of more than 6 hours. TfL say there will be no usage charge where bikes are returned with 30 minutes although the access fee will still apply.
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.”
Transport for London projects that more than 40,000 extra bike trips will be generated each day by the scheme which will operate in nine London boroughs and some of the capital’s Royal Parks.
Plans for a London cycle hire scheme were first initiated by former Mayor Ken Livingstone after he saw the success of the Velib scheme operated in Paris. Apparently dropping comparisons with the Paris scheme, TfL now say the scheme “will be based on, but not identical to, the award-winning Canadian cycle hire scheme, Bixi, which launched in Montreal earlier this year.”
Responding to TfL’s announcement, London Assembly Member Jenny Jones said: “Cycle hire is a really exciting idea which is why it is so disappointing that people won’t be able to pay using their Oyster card. The fact that it is free for the first half hour is in line with similar schemes in other cities. It is important that the credit card deposit fee and lack of locks on the bike do not put off potential users. This must be seen as a scheme for everyone, rich and poor, old and young.”
The charges in full: