Personally I reckon the principle of doubling hire charges is pretty outrageous. For me, it’s not necessarily the cost itself, but rather the seeming lack of any clear justification for doing so – or transparency about the overall scheme finances. If it is the case that TFL grossly underestimated the costs of running the scheme, and it loses massive amounts of money, why not just say so? Maybe I am thinking about this the wrong way, but I would assume the capital costs of the installed docks/bikes are now hugely lower than the initial roll-out?
I’d like to know how much Serco are charging to run the service and how much that fee is going up in 2013. Is the increase to fund the scheme expansion maybe? (theoretically not as the expansion should generate additional income too). Does the scheme income really not cover the running costs????
Wrt the charges, the annual fee now offers by far the best value, even more so than before. However, surely would it not have made better sense to increase this by a smaller % (say 50%?) to encourage greater uptake of the annual fee. Or perhaps offer some discount to Oyster card season ticket holders? Will there be any guarantee to keep future increases to a reasonable rate? I doubt it…