October 4, 2011 at 10:38 pm #74896
I have been a casual user for a few weeks and took the plunge to buy an annual membership, but beginning to regret it, I have a short commute from Kings Cross to St. Pauls and back everyday at around 8.20 am and return at about 5.45 pm. Most days now there is never a bike available at either of the Kings Cross (Chad’s St or Chesterfield), and even if I walk to one of the further bays and am lucky enough to get a bike, St Pauls and Snow Hill are full of bikes and I cant get rid of it !! It’s exactly the same story in reverse in the evening.
I can see the St Pauls bike stand from my office window, it was full at around 8.25 am this morning (no bikes had to take the bus) and nobody came at all all day to empty it,… it was emptied by around 5.15 pm by the natural return commuter flow, I took the bus again… I walked past Chad’s St at Kings Cross, several riders standing around trying to get rid of bikes so they could catch their trains. This isn’t rocket science, more stock movements required more often at appropriate times.
Not Impressed.October 5, 2011 at 8:13 am #84736
So what was different when you were a casual user then? The Kings Cross, Waterloo, St Pauls, Holborn tidel wave isnt a new phenomenon. There are numerous threads on here about the same thing. It isnt rocket science no, but simply the system was not designed to meet the commuter demand.October 5, 2011 at 11:35 am #84737
Boris Bikes aren’t designed for commuting. More rotation means more costs whilst the operator is busy trying to reduce costs.October 5, 2011 at 11:54 am #84738
Are Roo10 and Trevor8 the official apologists for anyone daring to complain on here ?…my what a friendly place !
As a casual user I was trying the system before taking the plunge, have you never tried something, bought it and then had reason to be unhappy ? …
“Boris Bikes aren’t designed for commuting”. !!!!! yes they are or they wouldn’t be sited where they are, they have often been touted as a London travel solution, what are commuters then ? 2nd class citizens not permitted to have an opinion ?October 5, 2011 at 12:25 pm #84739
7209ParticipantQuote:“Boris Bikes aren’t designed for commuting”. !!!!! yes they are
No they’re not. If they were you’d have seen more docks in/directly outside rail stations from the start rather than having to be added to cope with demand. I suppose the fact that TfL have said from the beginning that the scheme was never aimed at commuters is a moot point, is it?
The scheme simply wasn’t designed to (& therefore can’t) cope with a commuting tidal flow.
Yes, redistribution needs to be improved, but that costs money.October 5, 2011 at 12:27 pm #84740
Oh and before you ask – I’m not an apologist either, I’m just a realist.October 5, 2011 at 12:34 pm #84741
I don’t know about King’s Cross (except the chap in this Holborn Office who commutes in from there gets in screamingly early <08:00 and similarly knocks off at 16:00).
But at this end – as you mentioned Snow Hill – just a bit further away nearby is Stonecutter Street where hundreds of bikes are stacked during the day. The Sercoids are there to make space in the morning and you can pretty much always get a bike up to 18:30 and are very friendly.
Of course BBs are used for commuting – if you’re lucky – why else were the huge Waterloo dock + bike store built. But the aim seems to be to do little or no redistribution, which must be costly (manpower). For instance for the third morning in a row, having made the unpardonable error of getting into Waterloo after 08:00 I ended up walking into Holborn – that’s a zig-zag route passing 13 (yes 13) docking stations containing nothing but red-lighted bikes until it is not worth trying to find one and walking the rest of the way.October 5, 2011 at 2:33 pm #84742
Have a look at http://bikes.oobrien.com/
Looks like you need to get up earlier to compete with the likes of the City types in that area. The racks seem to fill around 0745.October 5, 2011 at 3:17 pm #84743
Trevor8ParticipantOctober 5, 2011 at 11:18 pm #84744
Thank you BrianFWombat that is a terrific link and seems to prove the commuter use, the current picture all empty in the centre and full at the edges, reversing in the morning and sitting that way until home time, and the historical stats are very useful.
Sorry Trevor8 if you think more users are spoiling the party for you, … should commuters stop using them and then you’d be all right Jack ?October 6, 2011 at 7:30 am #84745
I think the commuter use discussion has been done to death in many different threads; basic facts are, 6000 bikes and >750,000 commuters all heading in roughly the same direction. it is an impossible task to move the number of bikes required in just a few hours.October 6, 2011 at 8:24 am #84746
Kings Cross has improved a lot recently (though there’s always scope to do more). There are always bikes at Belgrove St at 0800, as the supply is topped up from an underground garage, but they may be running out by 0820. And they’ve got better recently at clearing the docks in the evening.
I make more of an effort these days to catch an earlier train, so I get to KX at around 0800. It’s all about personal choice really.October 6, 2011 at 9:19 am #84747
congokidParticipantQuote:Sorry Trevor8 if you think more users are spoiling the party for you, … should commuters stop using them and then you’d be all right Jack ?
Sorry, remind us who kicked off this thread with a massive whinge about a lack of bikes? I think yours is the only party that’s being ‘spoiled’…October 6, 2011 at 11:38 am #84748
Apology accepted congokid, now let me help you with your memory loss…
I Kicked Off This Thread.
I believe that amnesia can sometimes be accompanied by a degree of confusion but if you could retain that piece of knowledge for a moment I will try to clarify the point.
I began this thread with a perfectly reasonable complaint about “the service” but Trevor8 was complaining about “too many commuting people”.October 6, 2011 at 12:13 pm #84749
As mentioned by others, Belgrove Street is topped up by staff supplying bikes from a nearby storage point. If you are there at 7:30, you will see the hundreds of bikes in the storage unit and stacked up outside, being brought into the racks by the team of people there.
At this time of year by 8:05 they are down to a couple of dozen and by 8:20 there will be none left. In the summer they disapeared earlier and in mid winter they may last longer.
Don’t bother with Chad Street, as they only fill that up when Belgrove Street is out of order.
In an evening staff arrive at Belgrove Street around 17:00 to start emptying the racks to store away for the next day, so there should be no problem dropping one off there.
So the fundamental problem is the service doesn’t suit you, and the particular times that you travel. And even if they fitted in with your travel times, and on filling up Belgrove Street with bikes to 8:20 that still wouldn’t help you, as you have already said that there is nowhere to dock it at the other end. And the reverse problem in the evening.
Frankly without a massive increase in redistribution, then it is impossible that everyones demands could be met, and quite frankly it would probably be cheaper for them just to pay for a taxi for everyone.
As for the bikes not being “designed for commuting”, that was part of the design brief, that it would be impossible to cope with the vast numbers of commuters without either having vast numbers of docking points at stations, and huge amounts of redistribution to deal with the tidal flow.
The problem is that when the scheme was launched it was for subscription users only, and PAYG users were only allowed months later. Subscription users tended to be commuters, and although the scheme wasn’t designed for commuters, they had to deal with them as they were the only customers, and if they didn’t the press would have had a field day.
Although I am a commuter comming into Kings Cross and use Boris Bikes, personally I think that by trying to redistribute they are making a rod for their own back by raising expectations, and it might be better if they didn’t do anything at all.
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