London Mayor opens up Cycle Hire Scheme data to smartphone app developers

With a month to go, TfL hopes developers can help users get most out of scheme

With exactly one month left before the Barclays Cycle Hire Scheme goes live in London, the city’s Mayor Boris Johnson, has issued a call for developers of mobile phone apps to come up with ideas to help smartphone owners get the most out of the initiative.

The Mayor’s invitation follows a relaxation of the rules regarding commercial use of Transport for London (TfL) data, paving the way for developers to design apps that provide up-to-date information regarding docking stations, availability of hire bikes and routes around the city.

For now, TfL has made available example data relating to Barclays Cycle Hire locations on the TfL Developers’ Area of its website, adding that it will update details “of the location of all operational Barclays Cycle Hire locations as soon as possible.”

The Mayor of London’s Transport Advisor, Kulveer Ranger, said: “This scheme is the cornerstone of the cycle revolution the Mayor is bringing to the Capital and we want to make it as easy for Londoners to use as possible. Barclays Cycle Hire has got everybody talking and app developers are already recognising the opportunities that the scheme offers. They are incredibly creative people and I’m really looking forward to seeing and using the new apps.”

TfL’s Managing Director of Surface Transport, David Brown, added: “Barclays Cycle Hire will be the most sustainable and environmentally friendly form of public transport ever seen in the Capital. We know that it will take time for the scheme to bed in and TfL is keen to use every means at our disposal to help people as they get used to it and apps will give people information at their finger-tips. By relaxing our terms and conditions we aim to encourage developers to create innovative apps and ensure they are based on reliable and accurate information.”

Meanwhile, if you can’t wait until Friday 30 July to try out the new hire bikes, you can sign up for free cycle safety training in one of the nine boroughs that play host to the scheme, while there will also be 45 road shows promoting the scheme around the capital. Full details of both are available on the TfL website.


Simon has been news editor at since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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