‘READYBIKE’ is the name of Reading’s new bike hire scheme, set to go live later this year.
The scheme will see 200 bikes ‘ready’ to go across 29 docking stations inside and outside Reading.
The ‘ReadyBike’ bikes themselves will be coloured purple and will become a common sight in Reading when the scheme is launched in the Spring. A scheme logo has also been designed.
Also from today residents and commuters are able to register their interest in the bike hire scheme at www.readybike.co.uk. Once membership is available, those who pre-registered will be notified.
People can follow ReadyBike’s new Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/readybikeRDG and on Twitter @readybikeRDG.
Announcing the ReadyBike name, logo and branding outside Reading Station today (Jan 27th), Cllr Tony Page, Reading Borough Council’s Lead Member for Transport, said:
“Of all the Council’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund projects, a bike hire scheme for Reading is the one which seems to have captured people’s imagination and I’m pleased to say we are on schedule to launch ReadyBike in a matter of months. Over the coming weeks the Council and Hourbike will be working hard to get the ReadyBike name and brand out there and recognised. Today’s announcement is the start of that important piece of work.
“Reading’s initial cycle hire scheme will include 200 bikes at 29 docking stations located across Reading, including on the north and south side of the newly developed Reading Station and other key locations like Broad Street, Thames Valley Park, The University of Reading, Green Park, and north of the river into Caversham. If it proves to be successful we can then look into extending the scheme further in future years.
“One of the key aims of the Council’s overall Local Sustainable Transport Fund project is to encourage more people to consider cycling as a realistic option for local journeys and - alongside the Council’s new Cycling Strategy - we hope ReadyBike can play a big part in helping us achieve that.”
Hourbike Ltd is the Council’s partner in delivering the ReadyBike scheme for Reading. The Surrey-based company has experience of operating similar schemes in the UK including Dumfries, Nottingham, Lincoln and Southport. They also provided key assistance to Moscow’s bike hire scheme, which achieved 10,000 rentals in its first month.
Tim Caswell of Hourbike said:
“The website for Reading’s bike hire scheme is central to its operation. It is where people can sign up for the scheme, book bikes, manage their membership and make payments. The scheme name and the website are now live and people who register their interest and follow the social media streams will be kept up to speed on developments. People can also sign up for membership in advance as we work towards the all important go live date.”
Highlights of Reading’s bike hire scheme include:
• 200 bikes across 29 docking locations, including Reading Station, Broad Street (including by the Oracle and Broad Street Mall), Thames Valley Park, University of Reading, Madejski Stadium, Green Park and Caversham
• Free half-hour use for members at the start of every rental, with a daily cap of £4 a day maximum for members
• An easy to use website for registration and for members to top-up and manage their accounts
• The public will be able to become members or use the scheme as an occasional user or on a one-off basis
• Bikes fitted with electronic chips, enabling them to be tracked at every docking station
ReadyBike is simple to use. To rent a bike, users tap in their membership number and PIN and, once the selected bike has been chosen at the console, a light on top of the selected dock will begin to flash meaning it is ready to use. To return a bike, the user only has to insert their bike into any empty dock at any station. The dock will accept the bike and automatically close the open rental period for that user on an electronic system. Members can keep a constant check on their personal account online.
Whilst Phase One of the bike hire scheme is for 200 bikes, provision is made in the contract with Hourbike, the Surrey-based contractor, to expand the scheme to more places within Reading, Wokingham and potentially West Berkshire in the future, depending on the success of the scheme and available funding.
Reading’s Bike Hire scheme forms part of Reading Borough Council’s successful Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) which totals £25 million worth of funding. The Council’s LSTF projects aim to create an additional 7,200 daily bus trips, 12,050 daily walking trips and 2,300 daily cycle trips across the town, whilst at the same time cutting congestion by up to 10% and doubling the percentage of people cycling to work in the next five years.
The LSTF funding pot is ‘ring-fenced.’ That means Council’s like Reading who were successful in gaining the funding can only spend it on delivering sustainable transport projects, rather than on any other Council projects or services.
From today follow ReadyBike on FaceBook at http://www.facebook.com/readybikeRDG