When Boris Bike hire scheme from Barclays was launched in 2010, they quickly became popular as they were cheap, 24hour and offered quick transport around most areas of London.
However recent dissatisfaction has emerged among its users. The Evening Standard has revealed the bike schemes poor performance and showed how members of the scheme often found docking stations empty and they were unable to cycle. The other problem being that they had hired a bike, but the docking station they wished to return it to was full, sometimes resulting in users of the scheme taking the bikes home with them.
This problem was identified back in December 2011, however dissatisfaction from its users continued when customers were asked about their satisfaction of the service in November 2012, as it was found that docking stations were left empty for an average of 2 hours per day. The poor service has become an increasing problem, especially since there was 100% price rise for the service from the beginning of 2013.
Serco, the company which operates the bike scheme has been threatened by the Transport for London over the empty docking stations, as they found that 83 docking stations were left empty for up to 6 hours a day. Serco is supposed to re distribute the bikes around London to avoid empty and full stations. Transport for London said that “Londoners deserve better”.
If these situations fail to be resolved, many people who use the bike hire scheme will possibly abandon it due to the poor service and buy a bike of their own.
A Serco spokesman said the scheme “continues to be a tremendous success” but admitted “at some docking stations at certain times demand for bicycles and docking points can exceed availability”. The company said it was working closely with TfL to address this issue.