Over this weekend fri-sat (for 77hours) the Barcelona cycle hire will be disconnected in order to update software an communication between the stations and the central computer. the most significant change will be response since card swipe of 3 seconds (previously 5 secs) and better information available to the team responsible for redistributing the bicycles so in theory stations should be replenished more swiftly. This is done in August since the usage is less during this time of the year (25 000 uses/day compared to the average of 40 000/day the rest of the year).
The barcelona system does differ to the london scheme by not having casual users although the size of both is pretty comparable. It was an instant success in the city and has 120 000 registered users. So could we be facing outages in london; maybe not since the scheme is run by differnt companies.