From today (Wednesday May 28) people are able to go to www.readybike.co.uk to buy membership for the scheme which will see 200 bikes available for use at 29 docking stations.
The past few weeks have seen docking stations being installed up across Reading in advance of the launch. By buying membership from today, people will be able to hire bikes from June 10th. If people buy annual membership prior to the launch, they will also receive 5 hours free. Over 130 people have already pre-registered their interest in ReadyBike.
For members, use of ReadyBike is free for half an hour at the start of every rental and then £1 an hour after that, with a maximum rental cap of £4. As well as the place to register, www.readybike.co.uk is also where members can top-up and manage their accounts. Annual membership costs £50.
For people who do not want to be members, ReadyBike is also available for occasional or one-off use by users registering their details online. The tariff for non members is the same as that for members (£1 an hour) but they do not get the first 30 minutes of every rental free and the maximum rental charge is at £7.
People can follow ReadyBike’s new Facebook page at www.facebook.com/readybikeRDG and on Twitter @readybikeRDG.
Tony Page, Reading’s Lead Councillor for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport, said:
“The bike hire scheme for Reading is something that has been many months in the planning. People will have seen docking stations appearing around town and I am pleased we are now in a position where the scheme will go live within a matter of days. From the interest shown in the scheme so far, ReadyBike appears to have captured people’s imagination and I look forward to it gathering even more momentum over the coming weeks and months.
“The Council is determined to encourage even more people to view cycling as a sustainable way of travelling around town, particularly for short journeys. For members of the scheme, the first 30 minutes of every rental is free, so we hope people will sign up for membership to take advantage of that offer.”
Tim Caswell, of ReadyBike contractors HourBike, said:
“There had already been a good level of interest in the scheme and I’d now encourage as many people as possible to register before June 10th so they are ready to go when the scheme goes live.
“Our experience of launching schemes elsewhere in the country is that there is always a period at the start where it will take a little bit of time for people to familiarise themselves with how the scheme works. We hope that after a while it will become second nature for both regular users and those who want to just occasionally use a ReadyBike.”
To rent a bike, users tap in their membership number and PIN. Once the selected bike has been chosen at the console, a light on top of the selected dock will begin to flash meaning it is ready to use. To return a bike, the user only has to insert their bike into any empty dock at any station. The dock will accept the bike and automatically close the open rental period for that user on an electronic system. Members can keep a constant check on their personal account online.
Docking stations are located across Reading, including at Reading Station and other key locations like Broad Street, Thames Valley Park, The University of Reading, Whitley, Green Park, and north of the Thames into Caversham. Reading’s cycle maps and directional signage have been updated to include locations of docking stations across the town.
At the launch of the scheme on June 10th 27 out of the 29 docking stations will be operational. On-going work to create a new Southern Interchange at Reading Station mean the Reading Station South docking station will go live later in the summer when that project is complete. An out of borough docking station at Earley Station is also due to go live later this summer.
For those working and studying in Reading, there will be added incentives coming soon.