The Mayor of London and Transport for London will mark five years of London’s cycle hire scheme by offering a free access weekend on 22-23 August, as TfL announces integration into the Oyster and Contactless payment system.
The free access weekend is designed to encourage people to try the cycles as part of what’s called “Santander Cycles’ Summer of Cycling”, allowing people to try the scheme for the first time and give regular users the chance to travel around London for free.
Since its launch in July 2010, the number of bikes has almost doubled to 11,500, as have the number of docking stations, which now total 748. Nearly 43 million journeys have been made in five years, with a record 73,000 hires made in one day, and the hardest working bike hired almost 4,300 times.
In March next year the scheme will expand eastwards into Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. An additional 1,000 docking points are already planned within the existing zone and TfL is working with local borough councils to further extend the scheme in the future.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “Our iconic cycle hire scheme has come a really long way since it began, with millions of miles cycled by people of all ages and ability across our great city. With expansion of the scheme eastwards and plans for scores of more docking stations, it will soon be even easier for more people to get on board one of our sturdy two-wheelers. For anyone who’s yet to try out one of our trusty red bikes, I’d encourage you to give them a try. Whether it’s to get to and from work, or to take in the sights of the capital on a leisurely day out, Santander Cycles are surely the way to go.”
In the future, TfL will also look at how it can better integrate Santander Cycles online accounts with Oyster and Contactless Payment online accounts, so customers can log-in to one place and see all of their Tube, train, bus and cycle hire journeys.
Leon Daniels, Managing Director of Surface Transport at TfL, said: “We’ve had a great five years building and growing London’s cycle hire scheme and we’re now looking to the future to make Santander Cycles even more successful. We want to improve the customer experience and continue to make hiring a bike easy, fun and rewarding.”