We may not have e-scooters yet in London, but mobility start-ups are seeing successes across the city thanks to Londoners embracing the raft of bike-sharing schemes that have popped up over the past few months.
Lime’s e-bikes were some of the first to arrive in London, whilst Uber’s bright red Jump bikes, which launched at the end of May, have facilitated the journeys of more than 60,000 people in five months.
There are now 800 Jump bikes across Islington and Camden, with plans to roll out more bikes in Hackney in the coming month. Each bike has carried out an average of seven trips every day, with the average Jump journey being three miles. Perhaps unsurprisingly, commuting hours are the most in-demand times for the bikes, with top destinations including King’s Cross Station, and Finsbury Square.
Dinika Mahtani, general manager for Jump in London, said in a statement: “We’ve only been in London for a couple of months, but already 60,000 people have taken their first trip on a JUMP bike.
"We’re excited to launch in more neighbourhoods in the coming months and will continue to work with local Councils to promote active and environmentally friendly travel.”
Uber isn’t the only one picking up the miles. In July, the British urban cycling brand Beryl announced a partnership with the City of London to provide 150 Beryl emerald hybrid bikes across the Square Mile.
Beryl’s bikes are slightly cheaper to hire than Uber’s. Both versions cost £1 to unlock, and 12p per minute thereafter for the Jump bikes, and 5p per minute for Beryl.
Beryl CEO Phillip Ellis told the Standard: “We are delighted with how our hybrid dockless bike-share scheme has been performing in London since its introduction in early July.
“We've run our bikes with a really high level of control, which are invariably picked-up and dropped-off at one of 60 identified parking bays, enforced through accurate geo-fencing and a small convenience fee if a bike is locked out of the bay. Controlling bike share like this is the innovation and the future of privately run micro-mobility services in London.”
If hybrid bikes aren’t cool enough for you then you could always take advantage of the Brompton Bike Hire scheme, the sister company to the iconic folding bike brand. Set up in 2011, there are 50 Brompton hike docks in the UK, with 14 in London. For an annual fee of £25, it’s only £3.50 to hire a bike for the day. A Brompton bike can cost anything upwards of £745 so it’s a great way to be able to use one of the specialist bikes without the upfront costs.
Recently, the company announced a partnership with Ealing Council to provide free memberships to social housing residents living in the Copley estate in Hanwell. Brompton has also pledged to support the community with cycling experience days to provide the residents with the confidence to start riding.
Speaking about the programme, director Julian Scriven said: “Cycling is often incorrectly perceived as a middle-class hobby, rather than what it is; an inexpensive, accessible and environmentally responsible method of travel. One of the barriers to entry to cycling is the economic outlay of the bike, so we are pleased to offer this service to those considering a bicycle for the first time, and are perhaps put off by the initial cost.”
Scriven hopes to work with other local authorities on similar projects.
“To genuinely create a modal shift away from cars and toward cycling, we need to make cycling accessible to all.”