A surge in usage of Glasgow’s bike hire scheme has led to the number of journeys passing 2.5m, with the city’s transport convener saying the milestone shows more people are seeing the benefits of cycling.
Delivered by nextbike by TIER in partnership with Glasgow City Council, the scheme, which began in 2014, had just under half a million hires in the first four years.
By spring last year, the number of journeys passed 1.5m and almost a million trips have been made in the last 20 months alone. In August this year, rentals for both standard bikes and e-bikes were averaging almost 2,000 per day.
Councillor Angus Millar, SNP, city convener for climate and transport, said: “We’ve known for some time that Glasgow’s bike hire scheme has been a huge success. It is easily one of the most popular bike hire schemes in the UK.
“But these latest figures show Glasgow’s bike hire scheme is moving to another level. The scheme is now embedded in the city’s transport network and is supporting all kinds of everyday journeys.
“Whether it’s for the morning commute, or a quick work trip, or just for leisure, people are seeing the hire bikes as a realistic option for getting about Glasgow.”
The network has now been expanded beyond an original target of 1000 bikes at 100 stations, with 113 hire stations in place. It extends from Mount Vernon in the east to Scotstoun and Anniesland in the west, and from Springburn, Possil and Maryhill in the north to Corkerhill and Cathcart in the south.
Five new stations were recently installed. These are by the People’s Palace, on Pollokshaws Road next to Pollok Country Park, at the north east corner of Blythswood Square, next to Shields Road Subway station and at Glasgow Kelvin College East End campus.
A new station is planned on Clyde Place, next to the King George V bridge, while nine existing stations will be upgraded to include docking stations for e-bikes.
Cllr Millar said: “The expansion of the hire network into more and more areas of the city is making it easier and easier for people to pick up on a convenient and flexible service. It is clear increasing numbers see travelling by bike as healthy and good for the environment.
“There shouldn’t be any surprise that thousands of people are joining the scheme every month.”
Since 2014, almost 240,000 people have registered with nextbike and, on average, 2880 people signed up every month in 2023.
Jess Strangward, regional operations manager for nextbike by TIER, said: “The OVO bikes scheme in Glasgow is a phenomenal success story, with the city having openly embraced active travel on our shared bikes and e-bikes.
“Even nearly ten years after launching, the appetite for cycling in Glasgow is continuing to grow. With the support of OVO we are continuously evolving the service to meet that desire for accessible, sustainable transport.”
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