London’s Cycle Hire Schemes

Harry Rosehill wrote a review for Londonist.com on 28.6.19:

“…Docking

Santander: Docking a Santander Cycle is simple, just head to a docking station and find an empty spot to park up in. Wait for the green light to acknowledge you’re parked, and then head on your way. The fact that you have to be aware of the location of your nearest docking station is the only inconvenience. 4/5
Freebike: The whole point of a dockless bike is that they can be left anywhere — within reason. Not so with Freebike. As we finished our ride, we made sure we were within the general parking zone, and tried to lock the bike on the app. At which point we were informed that it wasn’t at docking spot. So we had to get back on the app, and try to find an invisible (to the naked eye) docking station, otherwise we’d have to pay an additional £3.50. This added a few extra minutes to our journey and wasn’t intuitive at all. 2/5
Mobike and Mobike Lite: Reasonably simple, you just have to slide the lock across on the bike and wait for the app to acknowledge that you’ve finished your journey. This took about a minute on our second Mobike trip possibly because we were in an area with limited internet, but got there eventually. 4/5
Lime: No trouble whatsoever, found a place to park the bike that wasn’t in anyone’s way, told the app we were done, and that was that. Easy peasy. 5/5
Jump: Each app has a zone you’re allowed to park your bike in, and Jump is no different. As we went to park our bike on the Embankment, we were informed that we would be charged a whopping £10 as we were outside the zone. That we were outside the zone was not at all obvious on the app — it uses a shading system to tell you where you can’t park but doesn’t make clear what the different shades mean and where zones start and stop (there’s some confusing overlapping). We zoomed out to try and figure where we could park nearby, but that led to the zones disappearing for a bit. It took us a full two minutes (which costs 24p) to figure out a nearby place we could park.
Then when we got there we were advised to lock the bike to something, using the cable lock attached to the rear of the bike. Except it also said we weren’t allowed to lock the bike to any cycling infrastructure. Completely befuddling. 1/5…”

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