A quick scoot around at lunchtime today revealed only three bikes at the docking station nearest Charing Cross (Craven Street). Tales I'm hearing is that the scheme is taking off among commuters. A day's access fee is £1 (or less if you buy weekly or yearly access) and a 30-minute ride is free. Two peak Zone 1 singles (Oyster price) are £3.60, so the difference is £2.60. That's quite a saving over a day. Compounded up over a year, that would be a saving of £819 based on 48 weeks travel and yearly access. Wow. You could buy quite a decent bike with that.
There's always a market for cheaper travel, so I wouldn't be at all surprised if we start to see starvation or overflow problems. Within a short distance of Charing Cross, we have William IV Street (36 docks), Craven Street (23 docks) and Whitehall Place (46 docks). That's 105 docks in total. Around 120,000 journeys are made into or out of Charing Cross Station every day. Only one in a thousand of those would need to involve a hire bike to exceed the local hire system capacity.
Maybe Boris could get the unemployed to cycle the bikes to and from Charing Cross to balance the supply?
Thursday, August 5, 2010
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