So the long-awaited Barclays Cycle Hire Scheme has finally launched today in London, promising to bring convenient and cheap cycling to anyone who wants it.
It just so happens that one of the Cycle Hire points is just opposite our office, so I trundled over there this morning before I started work to check out the set-up.
As you can see above, there’s a long row of bikes to hire – only three were ‘out’ when I got there this morning (on the assumption that the rack was full as it’s the first day).
Then, sited midway along the rack, comes the control post. On one side, it shows a map of where you are in London and the nearest other hire places, if this one is empty.
On the most important side, is the tech bit allowing you to pay to unlock a bike and hire it, complete with the Code of Conduct.
It’ll be interesting to see how many bikes are used in the first month while you have to be fully registered.
Boris Johnson has already admitted there will be teething troubles, but I doubt these will become obvious until the service gets a high usage.
Meanwhile, it’s great to see that there’s already an Android app, helping you find your nearest hire point.