December 5 2013 Latest news:
Monday, September 9, 2013
Casual users of London’s cycle hire scheme will be unable to rent Boris Bikes for around 24 hours this weekend as engineers upgrade systems ahead of the programme’s expansion in December.
But registered users with key fobs will be unaffected provided they plan ahead and ensure they open a valid access period before the work begins at 8pm on Saturday evening. Transport for London said it would continue “until late” the following day and that “this outage period is the shortest time possible for such an upgrade”.
TfL said the upgrade will make it easier for casual, unregistered users to hire bikes. At present, such users have to insert their credit or debit cards into terminals at docking stations up to three or four times.
Following the work - which TfL said was in response to customer feedback - users will have to insert their card only once before gaining access to a bike.
Information on the terminals will also be improved, and directions to the nearest available docking station will be made clearer.
Nick Aldworth, general manager at Barclays Cycle Hire, said: “We are constantly working to improve Barclays Cycle Hire for all our customers and we are taking the opportunity to introduce our latest improvements as we upgrade the system in readiness for the expansion.
“We apologise for any inconvenience the upgrade may cause to people wishing to hire bike on September 15 and we will work with our contractors to ensure the work is completed as quickly as possible.”
According to TfL, there have been nearly 25 million hires of Boris Bikes since the scheme’s launch in July 2010, more than five million of them this year.
Come December 2013, when expansion of the scheme to south west London is complete, Boris Bikes will cover more than 100 square kilometres of the capital.