The London Cycle Hire Scheme will not be Oyster Card compatible when it is launched next summer. Transport for London (TfL) announced earlier this week that international service company Serco will set up and operate the scheme.
But commuters will have to wait to be able to use their Oyster cards because the pay stations will not be able to take them at first. Silka Kennedy-Todd, Senior Campaigns Officer for TfL, said: “The London Cycle Hire Scheme will not be Oyster card compatible at first but the pay stations will be easy to use and they will be easy to convert for Oyster Cards when we do so in the future, although we do not have a date for that yet. We want to get the bike hire scheme in place as quickly as possible and for the best value.”
There are currently around six million Oyster cards in regular use in London and the CTC have said they are "amazed" the scheme will not support Oyster cards from the start.
More than a quarter of the 400 cycle docking station sites have received planning permission and the scheme will launch with 6,000 hire bicycles based in the nine London boroughs and several Royal Parks that make up London’s zone one travel area, and are expected to generate around 40,000 extra cycle trips a day in central London as well as help congestion on the tube and buses.
David Brown, Managing Director of Surface Transport at TfL, said: “The London Cycle Hire scheme will be the most sustainable, environmentally friendly form of public transport ever seen in the Capital. Cycling is a quick, convenient and healthy way of making short journeys in London, and we’re confident that, from next summer, our exciting new cycle hire scheme will become an essential part of the transport network in central London.”
The scheme, based on the award-winning Canadian cycle hire scheme Bixi,
will build on the 107 per cent growth in cycle journeys that London has seen since TfL was created in 2000.