Cycle Revolution in London
First and foremost, we decided to include this post in our ecommerce themed blog because this is a very novel idea from city planners, it helps you save money, it helps in saving the environment and it comes up in the city which is hosting the Olympics in July, this year.
We the post with an picture, with the old adage that an a picture is worth thousands words. This picture is of a bicycle stand, somewhere in London. Now considering the fact that London will perhaps the most visited city in the world this summer (Courtesy London Olympics, 2012), the city planners decided that they will ease the pressure on the London's tube and other public transportation by coming up with bicycle for rent.
Called the Barclays Cycle Hire, but commonly referred to as Boris Bikes (after Mayor Boris Johnson who introduced the concept), this is a public bicycle sharing system, ideal for short journeys, daily errands, and for tourists to explore London's nooks and corners. The scheme was launched in late 2010, but is currently on a major expansion plan, extending East, in preparation for the Olympics. So much so that in recent months, these bikes have become another trademark sighting on the streets of London almost as ubiquitous as the black cabs and red buses of the capital.
There are over 8,000 Boris Bikes and more than 570 docking stations across the city, including stations and prominent tourist spots. One can either register as a member or just go to the nearest docking station, pay a fee (only card payments are valid), and use the bike for a minimum of half an hour to a maximum of an entire day.
Docking stations have screens that allow you to hire a cycle if you're not a member, check out local street maps and even find other docking stations in the area, if one is full.
Costs include an access fee (the right to hire a bicycle) and a usage fee. Members can register for one of three access levels daily Rs 85 (1), weekly Rs 430 (5) or yearly around Rs 4,000 (45) and can operate the docking stations with their personal key. The first 30 minutes is free of usage charges, after which you pay from Rs 85 (1) for up to an hour to around Rs 4,300 (50) for a maximum period of 24 hours.
(For more details on cost, visit www.tfl.gov.uk/barclayscyclehire)
The grey and electric blue coloured Boris Bikes are smart looking, but are also cleverly designed. Their key features include a three-speed hub gear, durable puncture-resistant tyres, brakes on each wheel, front and rear lights which illuminate when riding, and a small luggage compartment. However, the bikes don't come with helmets (nor is it compulsory to wear one) probably their only negative point.
The bikes are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. So this summer, go ahead and join London's cycling revolution, what Boris refers to as a glorious new form of public transport.
However the key question is will London be able to inspire other huge cities of the world to use cycle as a mass transportation means, the same way it did to its underground tubes ?
Source : CN Traveller.