Square Mile now has electric bike sharing in bid to reduce car dependency
The Square Mile of the City of London now has access to electric shared bikes which is hoped to reduce dependency on cars and create a modal shift to bikes.
freebike, the smart, dockless electric bike sharing company has been selected by the City of London Corporation to operate electric bike sharing services within the Square Mile. freebike, a British company, was chosen ahead of the world’s biggest bike sharing companies in the City Corporation’s call to market competition.
The advanced ‘pedal assist’ electric bikes are unlockable within seconds via the freebike app or by swiping a contactless card, and for less than 1p per minute the rental can be paused if the user is at a meeting, keeping the bike reserved for the user to return to. freebike is looking to significantly impact transport around London by offering an efficient and more environmentally sustainable travel alternative which, unusually for public transport, is a lot of fun. Uniquely, freebike’s electric motor doubles up as an advanced locking system, allowing for smart, ultra-fast rental, enforceable geofencing and unrivalled protection against theft and vandalism.
The City Corporation is taking a lead in looking for dockless operation that can provide a reliable service without discarded bikes littering pavements. freebike’s solution is radical both in technology and approach; it operates with designated parking areas and an extremely high service level so that irresponsibly parked bikes can be quickly located and moved. Bikes are equipped with sophisticated GPS and multiple sensors that send out regular alerts recording their location, if they are moving, if they skid or if they have fallen over.
freebikes will arrive in the City of London from the 12 June 2019 and can be rented as both a pedal or as an electric bike with no unlock fee. In order to encourage cycling pedal mode can be used for free for the first 10 minutes. While using the freebike in electric mode the journey costs £1 for 10 minutes, with a smart pause mode allowing the user to park the bike temporarily before recommencing their journey. freebike will donate 2p for every mile ridden to the Lord Mayor’s appeal and will offer discounts to residents of the City of London.
Featuring an advanced pedal assist electric motor, regenerative braking, responsive disc brakes, powerful lights, durable yet practical frame and components and a secure electronic locking system, freebikes are of exceptional quality and have been designed with sustainability, ease of use, theft deterrence and longevity in mind.
Katharine Butler, co-founder of freebike “We’re delighted to launch our first public freebike fleet in the UK and proud to be selected by the City of London Corporation to operate electric bike sharing in the City following a highly competitive bid. The electric freebike brings radical innovation in technology and approach and offers the public a fun, green, fast and healthy transport option around the City. We are passionate about getting more people cycling and out of their cars – electric bikes are a joy to ride.”
Alastair Moss, Planning and Transportation Committee Chair at the City of London Corporation, said: “We are looking forward to working with freebike and Beryl, who impressed us with their innovative solution to issues facing London, such as overcrowded and cluttered pavements. This trial follows the launch of the City Corporation’s first Transport Strategy, in which we have placed a renewed focus on prioritising the needs of cyclists and improving the quality, convenience and accessibility of cycle hire facilities for City visitors, workers and residents to enjoy.”
Lance Uggla, CEO of IHS Markit who have a private scheme at their London HQ, stated: “Our team have been using freebikes to get to meetings in London for the past eight months. They’re reliable, fun to use, save us a lot of time, but best of all they reduce our impact on the environment.”
freebike believes that it will be a catalyst to a dramatic modal shift in bike use in London thus reducing dependency on cars.