Cycle-hire - The New Travel Option for Central London

Cycle-hire - The New Travel Option for Central London


P Le Masurier, F Shore, MVA Consultancy, UK; J Hiett, Transport for London, UK


This Paper discusses a model to assess the viability of a city-bike scheme in London, and to provide information on appropriate tariffs and demand for the scheme.


For five good reasons (sustainability, environment, reduced pollution, health and fitness) Transport for London (TfL) is keen to reduce the strain on existing transport infrastructure, especially private car use. TfL envisaged that a cycle-hire scheme, which already exists in several European cities, could achieve such an aim. The study, undertaken by MVA Consultancy, assessed the feasibility and viability of implementing a city-bike scheme in central London.

A business case for implementing a London scheme needed to be devised in order to convince TfL themselves, potential contractors/operators and ultimately financers that such a scheme should become a reality. The outcome of the business case is that the scheme will be established in central London this summer.

Key inputs to the business case were robust evidence of the likely demand for the proposed cycle-hire scheme and insight into the likely impact on usage and revenues of different subscription, tariff and operational regimes. The key deliverable from the study was a demand forecasting model capable of predicting the demand, revenue and distribution of cycle-hire trips under different tariff structures.

This Paper will:

?Þ describe how the London cycle scheme will operate;

?Þ the technical processes developed to construct a model to predict the demand of such a scheme in London;

?Þ provide insight into the spatial distribution of cycle-hire trips;

?Þ provide a profile of expected cycle-hirers, and types of trip that will become cycle-hire trips; and

?Þ how demand varies according to tariff structure (eg existence, or otherwise, of a free period, and different subsequent hourly charges), level of deposit, level and period of subscriptions, etc.

In our conclusions, we will consider the pros and cons of our modelling approach, the significance of our findings for the provision / extension of city-bike schemes in London.


Association for European Transport