Bike Hire Scheme for Reading


In spring 2014 Reading’s new bike hire scheme goes live on the streets. Hourbike is the winning bidder who will help to deliver a bike hire scheme, initially consisting of 200 bicycles at 29 docking stations inside and outside the borough.

The Surrey-based company has experience of operating similar schemes in the UK including in Dumfries, Nottingham, Lincoln and Southport. They also provided key assistance to Moscow’s bike hire scheme, which achieved 10,000 rentals in its first month.

Highlights of the proposed scheme for Reading include:

• 200 bikes across 29 docking sites, including Reading Station, Broad Street (including by the Oracle and Broad Street Mall), Thames Valley Park, University of Reading, Madejski Stadium, Green Park and Caversham
• Free half-hour use for members at the start of every rental, meaning that for many members the majority of their cycle trips will be free
• An easy to use website for registration and for members to top-up and manage their accounts
• An operating system compatible with both smartcards and PIN’s where customers either touch their card to the docking station reader or verify their individual number on a docking station keypad to release a bike
• Pre-payment for use of bikes, similar to a pay as you go mobile
• Two main types of annual membership – Individual or Business – with occasional or one-off temporary hires also available
• Bikes fitted with electronic chips, enabling them to be tracked at every docking station
• Flexibility to move bikes quickly between docking stations to cater for morning and evening peak demand

Hourbike’s bike hire scheme for Reading is simple to use. To rent a bike, users tap in their PIN or touch their card and, once the selected bike has been chosen at the console, a light on top of the selected lock will begin to flash meaning it is ready to use. To return a bike, the user only has to insert their bike into any empty lock at any station. The lock will accept the bike and automatically close the open rental period for that user on an electronic system. Members can keep a constant check on their personal account at a Reading-specific Hourbike website.

October 20, 2013 |

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