27 April 2009

London Bike Share Launch

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, announced London's version of the Parisian Vélib' bike share programme today. Maybe they'll call it Londib'.

"I pledged to deliver a cycling revolution across the city, and there is now a growing excitement about our cycle hire scheme, which will give all Londoners the opportunity to hop on a bike and experience the joys of cycling," said Johnson.

"Much like hailing a cab, people will be able to pick up one of 6,000 bikes, and zip around town to their heart's content – not only a quick, easy, and healthy option, but one that will also make London a more liveable city."

Here's an article about it from today's Guardian.

I follow Boris on Twitter. Not that exciting, but I'll never forget this tweet: "Got told off for riding a bike inside city hall. Sorry security!"

Whatever you may think of Boris, a mayor that rides a bike - naughtily - inside city hall can't be all that bad.

And then there's this quote: "I have long held the view that a cyclised city is a civilised city, but if we are to get more Londoners on to two wheels rather than four we need to provide the facilities to help them do so," says Boris Johnson. Lord Mayor of London.


Mike said...

I hope London's scheme works out better than the one that we in 'cycling city' Bristol got. It was announced in June last year and, according to my local councillors, despite a delay there were going to be bikes to rent at lots of major locations in the city before the end of 2008. As far as I can tell only the small-scale pilot scheme at one of the uni's and one of the train stations has ever happened. And it turns out you have to pay £10 to register to rent the bikes.

The latest news is here but hasn't been updated for months:


JT said...

Inside the city hall! He's my hero xD

Karl McCracken (twitter: @karlonsea) said...

Ha! remarkably similar to the area covered by London's taxis ("Nah, I won't go South of the river")


Rob said...

Mikael, you'll be interested to hear the comments of a Transport for London employee who gave a talk on the scheme to Southwark Cyclists a couple of months ago.

He stressed that the London Bike Hire scheme would not be supplying helmets and would not require people to use them. In fact, he specifically said that there is no chance of helmets becoming compulsory in the near future in the UK, given schemes like this.

As you know Boris, our mayor (like David Cameron, perhaps the next Prime Minister) is a non-helmet wearing cyclist, although both have been reluctantly pressured into wearing them for photoshoots.

(Of course, that won't stop some stupid newspaper from complaining about it when the first Bike Hire tourist bumps their head!)

João Lacerda said...

The historical tweet! There goes a good man! eheh


And hurray for London's bike share!