Some interesting facts and figures are emerging from the London bike hire scheme that started at the end of July 2010. The Evening Standard (7 October) reports that the scheme cost £79m to set-up. The annual running costs are said to be £15m. Wikipedia reports that the total implentation cost was expected to be £140 over six years. The contribution from Barclays is £25m.
According to ES, Transport for London (TfL) had hoped that the scheme would cover its operating costs (forecast revenue was £18m per annum) and break even within three years. However, income is only likely to reach around £7m by March 2012.
There is a 30 minute ‘free’ period for users, and it appears that the average journey lasts about 15 minutes on weekdays and 25 minutes at weekends.
Charges are as follows:
- Annual membership (140,000 users to-date) = £45
- Casual users = £1 per day or £5 per week
- extra charges are incurred if the hire lasts more than 30 minutes.
There are now 6,000 bikes and 400 docking stations. There are plans to extend the scheme into East London.
Usage statistics quoted in the ES are as follows:
- Hires = 7.4m
- Hires by members = 5.9m.
- Hires by Casual users = 1.5m.