Cycle Hire Fees Are Changing In 2015

Rachel Holdsworth
By Rachel Holdsworth Last edited 41 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


Rachel, what is the cost of a trip under 30 minutes on the new tariff, how are short hops impacted for key holders?


I have an annual key and all of my trips are short hops under 30mins, so this is no change & good news. If you see Boris bikes as a utility, then longer rides need to be more expensive and subsidise the short rides. If want the bikes to be subsidised for tourists & joy riders, then drop the price of longer rides with the consequence docks will empty and be unavailable for utility a2b riders like me. I think this is a fair compromise and joy-riders pay a bit more.


There is only one change TFL should do: a 40 minute free period

Geoff Marshall

Here! I made a nice graphic ...


Had enough of these Boris bikes never again!!

To many close call escapes of being knocked over, getting fined £30 for cycling down a blocked road (which will show up on an enhanced CRB check), being late for work so many times cos i couldn't park the damn thing..


I walked past one today in Soho: full up and unused, and 3 times the cost of a bus,

Boris always was a clown though.


I just can't get over the costs. £17 for 3 hours! Can buy a cheap £100 bike and use it for a week then chuck it in the Thames for cheaper. Or get a taxi perhaps. Or good old buses.


How can a single short (under 30 minute) trip cost 65p more than a bus ride across the city?


9 mln rides compared to 14 mln and 90% to 70% free trips must be massive hit for budget of this investment.basically turns it upside down

so who pay for this at the end??? the idea is so costly to all with benefit to small group of travellers ,no wonder that travel card prices are so high,sometimes is literately better and cheaper to use car!,especially outside centre .
someone should independently review how transport system works, for what costs and if these environmental ideas and investments into general improvement arent just some cover up to just suck out more money from london citizens ,or general bad management of available resources,as it looks like in the case of these bikes.
if bikes are such miscalculated investment there are probably other parts on london transport similarly bad assessed. is easy to spend public money of course while clinging to safe job chairs in tfl i would guess