New plans for CityBIKE
LIVERPOOL'S CityBIKE scheme is to be
brought under Council control as part of a plan which could also see it expanded
to neighbouring boroughs. The cycle rental scheme has grown considerably since
it was launched in 2014 and there are now around 1,000 bikes available for hire
from 140 docking stations across Liverpool.
There have been around 300,000 rentals to date, with usage up significantly year
on year, and those using the bikes have cycled a total of 1.4 million miles so
far. But the size and scale of the operation means that, in common with other
bike hire schemes, it requires an annual subsidy to cover the costs of repairs
and maintenance; and data shows that 80% of the hires come from just 20% of the
Now the Cabinet is being asked to reduce the subsidy by bringing the scheme in
house from operator Hourbike; saving ₤100k a year; and look at further
offsetting them by removing the least popular docking stations, expanding its
use to other parts of the City Region and seeking sponsorship.
Councillor Steve Munby, Cabinet member for highways, said:- "CityBIKE has
been a huge success in terms of the number of people using the cycles to get
around Liverpool, evidenced by the number of people we see riding around on
them, particularly in the City Centre. We know the scheme brings huge benefits
and that people use them to get to work or for leisure and that they are great
for tourists to explore our City. It is a much better environmental option than
any other method of transport and it is great for people's health. There is a
fine balance between making the scheme attractive and affordable to users
against the ongoing costs of maintenance of the bikes and the docking stations
and that is why, in common with other local authorities that run bike hire
schemes, we have had to subsidise the scheme. We are committed to keeping it
running, but given the financial pressures we are under, we need to look hard at
making savings where we can such as by removing docking stations which are not
used and other ideas such as expanding it to neighbouring areas. Council borders
are artificial, so it is sensible to look at giving people the option of being
able to cycle up the coast to Sefton or take the Mersey Ferry across to Wirral
and leave the bikes there without needing to worry about bringing them back."
The report will be considered by the Cabinet, on Friday, 4 August 2017.
CityBIKE In Numbers:-
► 34 - average rental time in minutes.
► 140 - docking stations.
► 1,000 ? bikes.
► 32,000 - active users.
► 300,000 ? rentals to date.
► 1.4 million ? miles cycled to date.
► 9am and 5pm weekdays / 12pm to 4pm weekends; most popular rental times.