Since the end of June and initially for two months, the first 30 minutes of standard nextbike cycle hire has been at no cost to the hirer in the city.
For casual users of the scheme, every rental under 30 minutes duration has been free of charge, and for existing subscribers, this has been extended to the first 60 minutes of any hire.
Now, funded by our Smarter Choices, Smarter Places programme, the free standard cycle hire offer has been extended until March 2021.
Glasgow’s cycle hire scheme was launched in 2014, with nextbike currently making available for hire, 800 bikes across 78 city locations. This level of provision, in addition to the creation of temporary pop-up cycle lanes as part of the Spaces for People programme; combine to increase the accessibility and attractiveness of cycling for everyday journeys, particularly for those new or returning to cycling who may not own a bike.
Cycle hire is proving increasingly popular in the city, with July's nextbike rental numbers up 12%, compared with July 2019. It is anticipated that extending the free offer for standard bike hire especially as lockdown eases, will contribute further towards an uptake in active travel.
Ian Findlay CBE, our Chief Officer said
We are very pleased to be supporting this initiative through our Smarter Choices, Smarter Places programme which helps local authorities across Scotland encourage more journeys by foot, bike or public transport.
It’s great to see that so many Glasgow residents have already taken advantage of this bike hire offer and we hope many more will in the months to come.
Providing more opportunities that give people an alternative to taking the car for short journeys is not only important for the environment but also for our physical and mental wellbeing.
Councillor Anna Richardson, City Convener for Sustainability and Carbon Reduction said:
“This free hire initiative will help to encourage people who perhaps haven’t considered cycling before to give it a try. Having 30 minutes of free travel every time right through to next spring, will let people see for themselves that it’s a convenient, healthy and environmentally positive way to travel around our city centre and neighbourhoods.
“We’ve recently seen the popularity of cycling swell, and as lockdown restrictions are relaxed we’re keen to maintain this mode of travel as an attractive, safe, long-term transport choice for everyday journeys.“
Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson said: “I’m pleased that Scottish Government funding can extend this welcome free cycle hire initiative across Glasgow to keep people cycling.
“Walking, wheeling and cycling is great for our health, protects the environment and helps us manage demand on public transport as we respond to the Covid-19 crisis. By offering 30 minutes of free travel through the nextbike service, we can continue to encourage greater numbers of cycling trips for everyday journeys – and help leave space on public transport for those that need it most."
Find out about cycling in Glasgow.