Cycle Hire Fees Are Changing In 2015

Rachel Holdsworth
By Rachel Holdsworth Last edited 44 months ago
Cycle Hire Fees Are Changing In 2015

Photo by Joephoto uk from the Londonist Flickr pool

It'll be less complicated to use a cycle hire bike from next year, as Transport for London (TfL) is simplifying the charging structure — though it will result in users paying more for shorter rides.

From 2 January, it'll cost £2 for every 30 minutes you keep the bike after the initial 30 minute free period (you'll still need to pay the access fee, currently £2 for 24 hours and £90 for a year). That's much easier to get our heads around than the current, stepped charges, but there are winners and losers. For example, if you want to hire a bike for 60 minutes at the moment, it costs £3 (£2 access fee plus £1 hire charge). Next year, it'll cost £4 (£2 access fee plus £2 hire charge). On the other hand, if you want a bike for up to three hours, right now you'll pay £17 (£2 access fee and £15 hire charge); from 2015 it'll be £12 (£2 access and £10 charge).

TfL is probably hoping making things easier will encourage more people to ride, as well as boosting revenues. A report (PDF), released earlier this year, identified that usage is below what was originally hoped (more than 9.5m trips so far this year, compared with a pre-launch estimate of 14.6m trips per year) and 90% of rides are in the freebie half hour period, rather than the 70% that TfL planned for. That's clearly not helping the finances: each ride is subsidised to the tune of £1.36 (an amount that is falling year on year) and the cost benefit ratio has turned out to be nowhere near as good as anticipated.

Last Updated 15 December 2014