Mobile phone 'app', or software, developers are being called upon to create new ways to keep users informed about London's new Barclays Cycle Hire Scheme.
Transport for London has relaxed its terms and conditions to encourage software developers to create apps that inform users where hire cycles will be available, smart routes about town or the proximity of docking stations to places of interest and Tube stations.
Interested developers can find the data template of the Cycle Hire location data on TfL's developers area of the website. The department said that only example data is in place at present, but will soon be replaced with the locations of all the operation stations.
“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,” said Kulveer Ranger, the Mayor of London’s transport advisor.
“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.”
Apps have already been announced for Barclays Cycle Hire, but TfL's relaxation of its T&Cs are likely to encourage a highly competitive app market for the scheme.
TfL’s Surface Transport MD David Brown said: “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.”
Up to 40,000 extra daily cycle trips are expected to be made when the scheme is introduced on July 30th. Six-thousand cycles will be available at around 400 locations across central London.
Users will pay £1 for 24 hour access, £5 for a week, or £45 for annual membership. Subsequently, each completed journey of up to half an hour will be free of charge.
TfL has produced a 'how to' video explaining hire use on YouTube.