The capital’s new bike hire scheme will cost as little as £1.50 for one journey when it goes live. These prices are in line with other schemes in the UK, and it is hoped that they will attract users.

Operators Serco will launch the scheme with an initial 200 cobalt blue bikes in September. There will be 3 ways to hire a bike using a smartphone app:

  • Single trip
  • Day subscription
  • Annual membership

The scheme’s hire charges will be as follows:

►    £1.50 for a single trip of up to 1 hour

►    £3 for a day subscription, allowing unlimited hires of up to 1 hour each in a 24 hour period

►    For £90 users can sign up for an annual membership, allowing hires of up to 1 hour each for 365 days

For each of the charging options, hirers can enable ‘extended rentals’ to enable trips of more than 1 hour.  Trips of over 1 hour will incur an additional £1 charge for each extra 30 minutes.

Bikes can be returned to any cycle hire point at any time, with the closest available stations shown in the app. The initial three-year concession agreement will deliver a minimum of 500 manual bikes by April 2019.

The new bikes will be available to the public in September

The cobalt blue Pashley bikes will offer cyclists excellent handling and ride quality, featuring high quality Shimano gears and brakes, comfortable gel saddle, front and rear LED lights, full-length mudguards, puncture resistant tyres that do not compromise ride quality, and a step- through frame allowing ease-of-use for all cyclists regardless of height.

The scheme will also be using technology including the unique hybrid lock provided by Urban Infrastructure Partner (UIP) the operators of cycle hire schemes in Oslo and Bergen.

Serco signed a concession agreement with Transport for Edinburgh (TfE) to introduce and operate the new cycle hire scheme for the City of Edinburgh in May.

Jason Holtom, Serco’s director of leisure services said: “We are introducing high quality bikes in Edinburgh which offer excellent safety, quality and comfort. Once launched in September, users will find the process of hiring simple and straightforward, with hire charges that make the scheme accessible to everyone.”

Transport Convener Councillor Lesley Macinnes said: “Coupled with the Council’s continued investment in improving cycling infrastructure across the city, the new bike hire scheme will help make Edinburgh even more cycle-friendly, boosting health and wellbeing and cutting harmful carbon emissions.

“In line with a bus or tram journey, I’m pleased to see the pricing model is also friendly and I’m looking forward to seeing the new bikes become a familiar sight.”

George Lowder Transport for Edinburgh on one of the prototype City Bikes which were produced in red as a pilot.

Transport for Edinburgh Chief Executive George Lowder MBE said: “We’re confident that the quality of the service and product being introduced to Edinburgh’s transport network is one of the best in the world. As Edinburgh’s first cycle hire scheme at scale t will provide a completely new transport offering for people who live, work, study and visit The City. It also allows us to diversify our portfolio of transport modes and meet increasing modern demand for convenient city centre cycling and active travel options.”

Building on the firm’s existing presence in Scotland to provide transport services, Serco already operates the Caledonian Sleeper Rail franchise, Scatsta Airport and NorthLink Ferries. The plansfor the scheme are designed to boost access to local education and employment opportunities as well as health and leisure services, and offer a fun, healthy, affordable, convenient andenvironmentally friendly new transport option for the City.