Demand high as 4000 people rent Just Eat bikes in first month
A total of 136 people each day have hired a Just Eat bike during the scheme's debut month operating in the Capital.
The Pashley cycles were launched on September 17 with 200 bikes in 19 city locations and since then have seen 4230 trips with demand being at its highest in the north of the city.
Operator Serco told the Evening News that the stations located at Fountainbridge, Bristo Square, Canonmills, Victoria Quay and Brunswick Place have proved the most popular with users.
As the year progresses, so will Just Eat cycles with a further roll-out of bikes expected in the coming weeks until there are 1,000 available in Edinburgh.
The increase will come just in time for the influx of visitors to the city for Christmas with an expected 80 bike stations to also be in operation, further enhancing the experience for users.
Serco has experience in the industry running the service in London and the technology is also being used in Trondheim and Bergen in Norway.
Charles Graham, General Manager of Just Eat Cycles, said: “As we complete the first live month of Edinburgh’s cycle hire scheme we’re able to analyse some very interesting journey data which not only helps us plan for the scheme’s further expansion across the city, but let us see how and when people are using the bikes.
“While Fountainbridge and Bristo Square have been the most popular Cycle Hire Points, demand for the bikes has been highest in the north of the city, where we chose to locate a number of the initial Cycle Hire Points, with particular hotspots around Canonmills, Victoria Quay and Brunswick Place.
“Due to high demand around Leith Walk we have already installed a Virtual Cycle Hire Point which allows users to drop off and pick up bikes using the lock on the front wheel of the bike within a geo-fenced area.”
Users are able to hire bikes through an annual membership, on a daily basis, or for shorter periods using a simple smartphone app.
The average trip length by riders so far has been 30 minutes with the median trip length being 18 minutes. Initial reception has been positive, although cyclists in the south west of the city have bemoaned the lack of cycle points in their quarter as part of the initial roll-out.
The bikes are available 24 hours a day all year round with Serco experiencing one of its busiest days in London on December 25 with 30,000 to 40,000 hires in one day.
The firm has a team of ten employees working from its Leith depot for redistribution management and repairs of the bikes while another four posts have been created within Serco’s Caledonian Sleeper office based in Inverness.
Serco’s director of leisure services Jason Holtom, said: “It’s fantastic to see the first hire points being installed across the city centre and at locations around the University of Edinburgh.
“Our aim is to make the Edinburgh cycle hire scheme accessible to everyone, meaning we’re introducing an easy to use app and bikes which are not only high quality, but easy and fun to ride.”