The Daily Prosper
Bike sharing: shared rental bicycles in London

Bike sharing: shared rental bicycles in London

The English capital is the city that has most developed bike sharing in recent years thanks to computer systems.

A good public transport network defines the cities of the 21st century. The underground and buses are still the key pieces of interurban mobility. However, in recent years, a new means of public transport has become popular. This is bike sharing, which consists of sharing bicycles for an affordable price, and using them to make short trips.

Many associate this concept with the collaborative economy, which has put in check traditional consumption practices. It is a model that takes advantage of new technologies to give access to goods and services when the consumer finds it convenient. Whatever you want, when you want it, at a single click. In addition, the user community also plays an essential role in weaving a network of trust that gives security to exchanges.

Bike sharing consists of sharing bicycles for short trips

Bike sharing fits with this idea. It is a story that is longer than we usually think. The first European experiences with a public bicycle system took place in the nineteen sixties. However, it was at the beginning of the last decade that the boom came in this trend, thanks to the expansion of computerised systems.

Since then, many large cities in the world have incorporated bike sharing into their public transport network. In that sense, London stands out as the European city with a greater development of cycle network.

Its rainy weather was not an inconvenience for the British capital, in collaboration with Banco Santander, to invest in a public bicycle rental programme. Santander Cycles have been designed to make short journeys throughout London, and are  considered by many to be one of the best and most extensive networks in Europe. Its 800 docking stations and 12,000  Cycles, which are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, support this statement.

The London success formula is based on the many benefits of bike sharing. Clearly, renting a bicycle is much cheaper than other traditional transport. One tip: for £2 you can hire a Santander Cycle for 24 hours and make as many trips as you like – just make sure each trip isless than 30 minutes.

SANTANDER CYCLES ALLOWS YOU TO MAKE AS MANY TRIPS AS YOU LIKE FOR £2 A DAY – just make sure each trip is less than 30 minutes

Another great advantage is its undoubted comfort. We are not referring to the saddles, but just how easy it is to use the service. With your credit or debit card can you access the system without having to register. It's simple. By hiring at the docking station terminal, they send you a code, you unlock theCycle, you ride and you leave it at the docking station that best suits you. The App allows for an even easier journey, by telling you how many Cycles are available at each docking station, and whether they are full or not.

Nor can we ignore how positive bike sharing is for the environment. The use of the bike reduces pollution and decongests traffic, it’s  the ideal excuse to do a little exercise and it’s also a great way to clear the mind - it helps you get to your destination, happy.



Last but not least, Santander Cycles allow you to get to know London from another perspective. Thus, you will save time and money at crowded underground stations, such as Piccadilly Circus. You can also enjoy the scenery instead of contemplating the walls of the underground, even if it is the oldest in the world. In short, it is a less rigid form than traditional transport, and you do not have to constantly control it.

Cycle touring offers the possibility of discovering corners of cities that would otherwise go unnoticed. There are thematic routes for all tastes. In the famous Notting Hill district, an itinerary begins for park lovers passing through the exotic Kyoto Garden. The tour can end in the immense Hyde Park, where you can park the bike, lie on the lawn or listen to the speeches at Speaker's Corner.

However, remember that the trips must be short so, as long as you follow that rule, you can design the route you most fancy. If you have spent all the morning looking at mummies and relics at the British Museum, in less than twenty minutes you be at the jaw dropping Camden market.

Half an hour and some pedalling can do wonders for you. In that time you cover the distance from the iconic Tower of London to the foot of Big Ben. The British capital is not only Victorian palaces, parks, markets and cafes. The climate, sounds and smells are also part of London’s culture. Don’t miss it, take your bike and see it. Save yourself money and discover London at your leisure. Remember, hire a Santander Cycle, and get there happy.

By Joan Marc F. Hernández