London Cycle Rental

Ding Day

With Ding Day 2 weeks away I thought we’d look at cycling in London. On Wednesday 9th September whenever you see another cyclist you give a little ‘ding ding’ on your bell, and they will return your greeting with another ‘ding ding’. From sun up to sun down, no matter where you are in the saddle on Ding Day, remember to ding your bell. Cycle Rental in London still hasn’t got the infrastructure for a reliable service throughout the capital, but it’s not far away!

The OYBike System

A street-based rental station network that allows you to hire and return a bicycle via your mobile phone.  The bicycles are secured to their bike stands using cables that are attached to the bicycle and which double as security locking cables when the bicycles are on hire. Each bike stand is equipped with a specially developed electronic lock operated through a keyboard and LCD display. This lock holds the cable secure until that bicycle is rented out. An OYBike registered user select an available bicycle and the locks display a code, the user then calls the OYBike call centre and gives them that code. A unique pin code is then read out to the user and sent back by text messaging. This pin code is entered into the lock to release the bicycle. After use the bicycle is locked into any empty port on an available OYBike station. A unique pin will appear on the lock display that must be sent back to OYBike to end the hire period.

Hire time Cost
0 – 30 Minutes FREE!
31 minutes – 60 minutes £2.00
61 minutes – 120 minutes £4.00
121 minutes – 180 minutes £6.00
Over 181 minutes (Whole day charge- 24 Hours) £8.00
After that each day or part of a day will be charged at £8.00.

Hire costs seem reasonable:

0 – 30 Minutes FREE!

31 minutes – 60 minutes £2.00

61 minutes – 120 minutes £4.00

121 minutes – 180 minutes £6.00

Over 181 minutes £8.00

The drawback to the schem currently is that pickup points are currently restricted to West London

Transport for London 2010

Bixi will run London Cycle Hire

Bixi will run London Cycle Hire

Transport for London plans a scheme for launch in May next year based in the London boroughs of Camden, City of London, City of Westminster, Hackney, Lambeth, Islington, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Southwark and Tower Hamlets, across a 44km² area roughly equivalent to Fare Zone 1. The 400 cycle stations will be situated approximately every 300 metres (although less frequently within The Royal Parks), so people who want to use or lock up a bicycle should never be more than a couple of minutes walk away from a docking station. Much like hailing a cab, people will be able to pick up one of 6,000 bikes, and zip around town to their hearts content – not only a quick, easy, and healthy option, but one that will also make London a more liveable city. Available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, the London Cycle Hire scheme will help to alleviate congestion hotspots on the Tubes and buses in central London, as well as build on the massive growth London has already seen in cycle journeys in recent years.

The scheme charges haven’t been announced yet. However the contract to run the scheme has just been placed with Bixi who run Montreal’s Cycle hire scheme.

A Look at the Future of Cycle Hire

 Hybrid2 Schematic

Hybrid2 Schematic

Designer Chiyu Chen has designed a hybrid transit system that encourages the use of sustainable transportation by crediting people for renting and riding bicycles. His Hybrid2 system consists of a fleet of rentable bicycles that are capable of generating and storing kinetic energy, which is then used to power public transport. Instead of using friction brakes the cycles use regenerative braking to stop, and store the energy created. When the cycle is returned the energy is fed back into the transport system to power Bus and Tube, crediting the cyclist for their input.

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