Cycle hire schemes are great but they don’t always provide an integrated transport solution by the very nature that the bikes are heavy and cumbersome. Bike manufacturer Brompton hopes to change that with an innovative cycle hire solution based around its iconic folding bike.
Earlier this year, Brompton put up a holding page on the internet where it announced plans to launch Brompton Dock, a cycle hire scheme that would allow consumers to hire their iconic bikes at transport hubs like train stations. A Brompton can then of course be carried onto other forms of transport.
“Unlike the bikes in other hire schemes, Brompton bikes create a truly joined-up travel system. As well as being comfortable and stylish to ride, they can be folded to go on other forms of transport and stored securely in an office, a car boot,” Brompton states.
What is the Brompton Dock?
The Brompton Dock is a self-contained, solar-powered metal box that can store up to 80 Brompton folding bikes. Accessed by a smartcard, users will be able hire one of these bikes after paying a yearly membership fee (thought to be £50). The member then pays a hire charge depending on how long they keep the bike.
According to US trade website Bicycle Retailer, the cost for one day usuage is just £4. If you want to keep the Brompton for a longer period, say a week, it will cost £2 per day to keep the bike in your possession. When the bike is returned to the Brompton Dock, usage is calculated by the smartcard and a bill sent electronically to the cardholder each month.
Guilford gets first dock
The concept has now moved one step closer with a Brompton Dock unit being installed at Guildford Train Station in Surrey, where Brompton is working with South West Trains on the venture.
What is in it for Brompton
Of course, Brompton is not entirely doing this just to help the poor commuter. There is a business model behind this that can make revenues for the firm. According to Bicycle Retailer, any transport hub that installs a Brompton Dock must pay for the bikes included in the dock. This is thought to be a figure of £1,000 per bike.
Brompton will also receive revenue from the bikes being hired out though the revenue split here is 70:30 in favour of the organisation that decides to have a Brompton Dock on its property.
Six pilot docks are being planned by Brompton across the UK.
The Brompton Dock concept was officially launched by Brompton and South West Trains at Guildford Station on July 7th.
Pricing for the hire of a Brompton bike has been confirmed at the level of what we reported when this item of blog news was first reported on June 30, which is £4 per day, and £2 per day if you keep the bike for a week.
William Butler-Adams, Brompton MD, speaking about the Brompton Dock launch, said: “In the last ten years, bike journeys have increased ten-fold as the public has come to appreciate the many advantages that cycling offers.
“This is the first Brompton Dock in the country and we believe it, and others like it, will make bike journeys even more attractive to more people; by providing a ready-to-ride high-quality Brompton to rent, we are giving passengers a superior alternative to the car and bus.”
Passengers who want to cycle to or from Guildford station and use the dock should register and purchase a smartcard here.
Photo used courtesy of Kinetics Engineering