The Barclays Cycle Hire bikesharing system (map) in London is due for a major expansion on 8 March. Overnight on the 7th, operators will be working flat out to add
2300 1700 1900 new bikes into 4800 3000 3400 new stands, clustered in the 200 150 new docking stations that have been tested over the last few weeks, across the East End of London (Tower Hamlets, Shoreditch/Hackney Road and Canary Wharf). Also going live the same day will be a much smaller expansion west to the area round the Westfield shopping centre in Shepherd’s Bush in West London. Another small expansion around Camden Town has just been completed, adding several new stands to the northern tip of the system, including handily around Camden Town tube station and Camden Road train station, allowing commuters from the north and the Overground network (like me!) to avoid the expensive Zone 1 fares and Boris Bike the last few kilometres to work.
The expansion will move London up the league table of bike share cities from 7th to 5th – in a top 20 dominated by China. It will remain the second largest system outside of China, after Paris, although New York’s planned system will be even larger:
The Biggest Bike Sharing Cities (March 2012)
|New York (planned)||United States||10000|
|5||London (8 March+)||Great Britain||7200||5000|
|Chicago (planned)||United States||5000|
* Currently closed for winter.
Data sources: Scheme operator websites (through my live map), http://publicbike.net/, http://citybik.es/, http://bike-sharing.blogspot.com/, press releases/newspaper articles on new schemes, Wikipedia articles. If you are aware of any mistakes, please let me know and I will correct. Photo: CC-By-NC IanVisits.