Happy second birthday to the Boris Bike!

2 years in service for Barclays Cycle Hire

by Sarah Barth   July 30, 2012  

Barclays Cycle Hire bikes

It's happy birthday to the Boris Bike today as the scheme hits its second anniversary.

The scheme has overcome safety criticisms and back-end problems to become a much loved feature of the capital's landscape.

Having begun on the 30th July 2010 with 5,000 bicycles and 315 docking stations in central London, the scheme expanded in March this year to include an additional 2,300 bikes, and an additional 21 square kms, centered around the Tower Hamlets, North Shoreditch and Hackney (no co-incidence that there was a small sporting event planned in this area, then).

Barclays will sponsor the scheme to the tune of £25 million until 2018, and there are plans to expand it to west and south-west London next year.

At last count, 10,370,705 journeys had been made on Boris bikes.

Last week there were 232,462 journeys made on the scheme, with 55 per cent of users being regular key-card holders, and 45 per cent casual £1-per-24hr period users.

These figures are likely to reflect Olympic tourism, as usually around 75 per cent of users are key holders.

The average journey time is 18 minutes on weekdays and 28 minutes at weekends.

The busiest docking station is at Waterloo station, with Hyde Park the next most popular area for a ride.

At an average of only £3,370 income per day from journeys though, the scheme needs to expand, as it will cost TfL £140 million to run over six years.

The scheme still has its sticking points, such as the lack of availability south of the river, and the fact that they're disproportionately used by wealthy City types, but Boris bikes are here to stay, and we say that's a good thing.