Folding bike companies are increasing their links with rail and transport networks in a bid to get more train users to continue their journeys on two wheels rather than four.
Brompton Dock aims to be in 25 locations by the end of spring and is currently up to 11 automated docks in the UK. It is launching its folding cycle hire scheme at Oxford Railway Station this Friday (March 15th) and at Peterborough Station next week on March 20th.
The Oxford launch marks Brompton Dock's third of four docks in partnership with First Great Western and brings 40 folders to the station.
The Peterborough launch is Brompton Dock's first in partnership with Peterborough City Council and East Coast Trains and is part of the Council's Travelchoice initiative. It will make 20 folding bikes available and is being funding through the Local Sustainable Transport Fund from the DfT.
The Brompton Dock scheme sees users register online and pay an annual membership fee. They can then hire a bike by text message or reserve a bike (or empty bay) online. Members can keep the bikes as long as they like from hours to weeks at a time. Frequent members pay a £45 annual membership fee and then £2.50 per day to hire a bike. Leisure Members pay a £10 annual fee then £5.00 per day to hire a bike.
Overseas, folding bike firm Tern has linked with Hamburg's transit authority to boost bike use within the city's transport network, including trains, subways, buses and ferries. The move marks Tern's fourth team up with transit authority world wide, also including Munich, Stuttgart and a national railway operator in Italy.
In Hamburg Tern is taking a different approach to the task than Brompton Dock, offering a cut price version of a special-edition Link D8 bike through participating Tern dealers to encourage usage.
As in the UK, folding bikes are allowed on Hamburg's HVV public transport even during peak travel times.
Tern vice president Joshua Hon explained: “Mixed modal transport is the best way to leverage existing public transport systems and portable bikes can play a key role in this. Instead of investing a lot of money and resources into building a network that reaches everywhere, cities can promote the use of bikes, which can bridge the gap between your house and the nearest bus/train/subway station. You can easily take a portable bike on public transport and use it when you get off to ride to your final destination.”