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Brompton Launches London Bike Share Program

Published June 27, 2011

LONDON (BRAIN)—Brompton Bicycle has spun off a new company to manage a new bike share scheme in the U.K.

Brompton Dock is a self-contained, solar-powered metal box that stores up to 40 Brompton folding bikes, and is meant to be set up at train stations to serve as a link for commuters traveling to and from work and home. The first Brompton Dock was installed a month ago at the Guildford Train Station in Surrey.

Members pay 50 pounds for a membership, and use a smart card to open the box. Riders aren’t restricted to how long they can keep the bike, and pay a tiered cost per day depending on the rental length. The cost for one day is 4 pounds; it’s 2 pounds per day for a rental of a week or longer; and 1 pound 60 pence per day for a 30-day rental.

Communities pay a one-time fee of 1,000 pounds per bicycle stored in the box and keep 70 percent of the revenue it generates. The remaining 30 percent goes to Brompton for maintenance of the system.

Brompton is aiming to install six pilot docks across the U.K. in the program’s first year.

Will Butler-Adams, managing director of Brompton, said the company should know by September how well Brompton Dock is received.

“We know it will be successful,” he said last Friday during at interview with BRAIN at Brompton’s London offices. “It’s just a case of making sure the customer experience is right and learning from the pilots.”

Last summer, the city of London introduced a bike share program called Barclay’s Cycle Hire—known around the city at the Boris Bikes, after Mayor Boris Johnson. Six thousand three-speed bikes are docked at stations around the city for rentals of 24 hours or less.

“It’s been enormously successful, but it’s a very high cost solution,” when factoring in long-term maintenance of bikes and costs to keep the program running, Butler-Adams said.

—Nicole Formosa
nformosa@bicycleretailer.com

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