Transport for London is responsible for the arduous task of getting millions of Londoners around this giant city every day. Besides the Tube, bus, and Docklands Light Rail, they’ve added a new service–public bicycles.
Similar to public bike programs in other cities, people can get a bike at one of the self-service docking stations. You don’t have to be a UK resident to use one, but residents can buy an annual membership and get discounts. You can pay by cash, card, or online. You have to pay for an access fee as well as the bike itself. If, for example, you are in London for a day, you can buy a day’s access for £1 ($1.56) and hire the bike for up to six hours for £35 ($55), or a full day for £50 ($78). That’s expensive, but it wouldn’t take many taxi rides to equal that.
Actually the program is more designed for short rides. Journeys under half an hour are free and an hour only costs £1. You can cycle pretty much anywhere in central London in an hour. Users should be aware that London traffic is very busy and people who aren’t accustomed to cycling in big cities should probably give this a miss. The scheme is partially funded by Barclay’s bank and each bike sports an ad for Barclay’s.
Photo courtesy Transport for London.