International service company Serco has been appointed operator of the London Cycle hire scheme, which is set to begin early next year.
The Cycle Hire Scheme will operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year in the capital. TfL also revealed that more than a quarter of the 400 cycle docking station sites have received planning permission so far, and that 6,000 hire bicycles will be available at launch across nine London boroughs and several Royal Parks. It is hoped that the scheme will generate an extra 40,000 cycle trips every day in London.
Serco won the contract, worth approximately £140 million over six years, after a nine-month tendering process. The firm already operates the Dockland’s Light Railway, the Woolwich ferry and traffic signals for TfL.
“The choice of operator will be key to the success of our scheme and I am thrilled Serco have decided to saddle up for London,” enthused London Mayor Boris Johnson.
“They can't wait to get cracking on helping us get thousands more Londoners on two wheels and I'm sure that the cycling revolution taking place in the capital will rapidly become the envy of the world.”
TfL managing director of surface transport David Brown praised the forthcoming initiative: “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.”