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Edinburgh launches ‘Back to Work’ bike hire pass

Mark Moran
16 July 2020
Edinburgh`s JustEast bike hire scheme
Edinburgh`s JustEast bike hire scheme
Transport and Environment Convener Cllr Lesley Macinnes
Transport and Environment Convener Cllr Lesley Macinnes

 

Users of Edinburgh’s bike hire scheme can now buy a four-month pass for the price of less than one month.

People have been able to try out the bikes for free since 29 June under an initiative giving riders their first 30 minutes of use at no cost, encouraging the public to give cycling a go. Since then more than 2,000 free passes have been redeemed.

The second phase of the deal, which launched on 13 July, aims to promote long-term use of the bikes by providing a limited number of four-month passes for £10.

The ‘Back to Work pass’ replaces the existing 30 minutes free offer to support people to consider alternatives to private car use while managing demand for public transport as they return to work. This has been made possible by funding from Transport Scotland through the Smarter Choices, Smarter Places programme.

Transport and Environment Convener Cllr Lesley Macinnes said: “We’re delighted to be able extend our offer to help more people benefit from our hire bikes for longer. As we begin to return to some sense of normality, and as residents go back to work, more people will need to travel, and this will provide an affordable alternative to private cars while reducing pressure on public transport.”

“Since the beginning of lockdown there has been a significant increase in cycling, with numbers up by 16% across the city’s bike counters, while the bike hire scheme experienced its most successful day yet.”

To help people cycle and walk safely while observing physical distancing as lockdown restrictions are eased, the council is in the process of introducing temporary changes across the city, from road closures to temporary cycle lanes.

Alex Macdonald, General Manager of Edinburgh Cycle Hire, said: “Cycle hire schemes offer users the chance to try cycling without investing in a bike or e-bike of their own, and are therefore a crucial gateway to convert people into regular cyclists. It is my hope that our new users continue to discover the benefits of city cycling and incorporate the scheme into their daily routines. Our recent usage figures show that more people have taken to cycling during the pandemic and to meet this demand we have invested operationally across the scheme to the benefit of new and existing users.”

Edinburgh’s cycle hire scheme, sponsored by Just Eat and managed by Serco, has over 500 bikes, including 160 e-bikes, available for hire, with 107 stations across the capital.

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