Not sure if this has been covered (and apologies for not being on this forum for the last couple of years but I haven’t been using Boris Bikes as much as I used to)…
I just got a survey from TFL asking about differing payment options. They were gauging whether there would be any interest in all journeys costing £1 or 50p for pay as you go users (if you have a travelcard it would still be free).
I don’t have a travelcard. When I used Boris Bikes daily the whole point of it was that it was cheaper than having a travelcard, so I think it’s a terrible idea.
Well I suppose they need to find a way to make the scheme profitable, given the interesting financial situation regarding the budget and initial sponsorship deal. In truth, the Barclays cycle scheme remains one of the few schemes in London, that are genuinely useful and good value for money, especially given the improved coverage.
It would be a shame to charge per journey, given the 30 minute grace period, although I wouldn’t mind paying say £3 daily (£12 weekly) as a PAYG user, or £120 for the year – provided one got an additional 15 minutes (45 minutes per ride) as a member.
Another thing which would be wiser, although involves thought and therefore is not as tempting as just increasing prices, would be to improve the scheme, e.g. not being able to use the same dock for an hour or more when returning a bike (I’ve actually seen some spindly Lycra clad miser sitting on the docked bike for 5 minutes) this would improve rotation.
Similarly other schemes e.g. Incentive to dock in given locations, would help…that and only half filling docking areas, so annoying when you can’t find a place to dock since they filled every dock in the area.
So it is possible to increase the efficiency of the system, and consequently improve the profit margin. However it is a shame about the change, given all those posters put up advertising the free 30 minutes, must have cost a bit.