Yesterday myself and hundreds others of paying users wasted over half an hour or more hunting non-existent bike bay spaces as a result of the TFL strike.
People were literally giving up and leaving them stacked up against the bay terminal points. I myself used the official app to “find” bays with non-existant spaces in Covent Garden, then Holborn and finally success in Chancery Lane.
This created a vicious circle as myself and other paying users could not confidently use the service again through fear of this repeating itself, thus compounding the problem.
Firstly, this scheme is the best in the world. I lived in Paris when the fantastic Velib scheme was introduced and the London scheme and bikes are better in every sense. Well done to all involved and those who continue to operate and improve this world-class life enhancing initiative.
IDEA / SOLUTION: TFL “Relief Point”
Why can’t TFL implement temporary “Relief Points” for when there is predictable heavy usage? All it would take would be 2-3 of the existing transporter with someone docking in the bikes and loading them up to back liquidity back to key central areas (City, Covent Garden, Soho)
The news would cover it and it would free up bays restoring the liquidity which is required for the scheme to work and for paying users to use the bikes with confidence during the strike or other period of heavy usage. Without doubt this would be covered by regional news channels, ensuring users are informed.
Hello Dan, I understand your problem, and realise both days were extremely busy for Boris bike commuters.
My opinion is that it is difficult for the Boris bike distribution teams to respond to situations like a strike. They are limited in the number of staff and vans they have. It would be ideal to do as you suggest, but if they regularly employed enough staff to cover a tube strike day, those same people would presumably be underemployed on a normal day when less bikes are in use, not to mention a two month wash-out period like we’re in at present which no doubt sends your average Boris biker rushing for the bus or tube.