Tag Archives: Montreal

‘Boris Bikes’ Barclays Cycle Hire Starts Today

自身も自転車乗りである、ボリス・ジョンソン市長肝煎りの公共自転車レンタルシステム、「Barclays Cycle Hire」(市長の名前をとって、「Boris Bikes」とも呼ばれる)が今日から始まった。当初の計画では、セントラル・ロンドンに敷設された400のDocking Station(駐輪場)に、6000台の自転車が備え付けられる予定だったが、今日朝6時付で、315のDocking Stationに、4700台の自転車が用意された。

現在は、ウェブサイトよりユーザー登録し、郵便で届くelectronic key(専用の鍵。費用は£3)を受け取った人たちのみ使用可。私も早速昨日登録して、鍵が届くのを待っているところ。鍵を受け取ったら、ウェブサイトで自分のアカウントにログインし、有効化しないと使えない。登録していない利用者は、来月8月末から使用できるようになるそうだ。使用に当たっては、アクセス料が1日£1/週£5/年£45、それに加えて使用料がかかる。最初の30分は無料、その後は1時間£1、90分£4、2時間£6と、使用した時間分が登録したクレジット・カードにチャージされる(詳細はここで)。手間がかかっても安くあげたいという人は、30分毎に駐輪場に返して、再度借り直せば(同じ自転車なら返却してから5分待つか、他の自転車ならすぐ借りられる)、何時間でも無料で使える。もしその駐輪場が一杯なら、タッチスクリーンで近くの駐輪場を探して返却すると、15分間無料で延長できる。もし24時間以内に返却しなければ£150、全く返却できなければ£300課金されるので、気をつけて。故障した場合は、スパナのシンボルのボタンを押すと、修理に来てくれる。



A new public bicycle sharing scheme Barclays Cycle Hire (aka “Boris Bikes”), propelled by Mayor Boris Johnson (who is a cyclist himself), launches today in London. At 6am, 4,700 bikes were in place in 315 docking stations across central London, while the total fell short of a promised 6,000 bikes at 400 docking stations.

Currently only registered users who have signed up on TfL’s website and received an electronic key (£3) in the post can use “Boris Bikes”, but unregistered users will be able to use it from the end of next month. I just registered last night and am waiting for the key to arrive. Once it arrives, you have to activate it online by logging in your account. In order to use the bikes, you have to pay “access fee” for £1@day / £5@week / £45@year, plus “usage charge” after first free 30 minutes for £1@hour, £4@90 mins, and £6@2 hours and so on (see details), which will be charged to your credit card. But you can use the bike for free for as much as you want, if you return it every 30 minutes and hire a new bike or the same one again after you re-dock for 5 minutes. If all the docking points are taken, you can get an extra free 15 minutes by using the touchscreen display on their nearest terminal, before you find another station. Be careful, you will be charged £150 for not returning a bike for 24 hours or £300 for not returning it at all. If the bike is broken, press the button with the spanner symbol when you return it – a mechanic will come to repair it.

The bicycles and the docking stations are built in Canada and are based on Montreal’s bicycle rental system Bixi. On the body of the bikes, you can see the blue logo of sponsor Barclays which donated £25 million to the scheme. The comfort-oriented and vandal resistant body equipped with computer system is quite heavy, and some cyclists claim that they can’t go fast. But it is totally fine for me, or I don’t want those selfish irritated ‘fanatics’ to use these beautiful bikes. These obnoxious cyclists pedal like crazy, passing a red-light, ringing the bell and kicking out pedestrians on their way, going around in between the cars, and jumping in front of the traffics like buzzing flies around a face, causing a slow traffics – the only thing they care is to get their destination as soon as possible. Very annoying!

As I wrote in the past entry, the London’s cycle lanes are still not good and safe, and doesn’t connect throughout central London. Also UK uses left-hand traffic which is a minor system in the world, and most of the tourists including Europeans and Americans who are not used to the traffic system may put themselves in danger. Also similar Paris’s Vélib’ has suffered vandalism and theft, and many people are anxious that the same things happen to Barclays Cycle Hire as well and cost taxpayers a fortune.

The scheme has just started, and let’ see how it goes.


The docking station just few minutes from our flat. The street is rather deserted, but there are 2 docking stations on this short street. It is convenient for me and I don’t mind it, though.

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