Buzzbike launches ‘free’ bike hire scheme
The ‘world’s first free urban cycle scheme’, which gives users a free bike in return for riding it, launches in London next month with 200 bikes available.
‘Buzzbike’, launched to rival the Santander cycle scheme, gives Londoners the free hire of a bike and free insurance, in return for agreeing to ride to work at least 12 days a month, and park their bike in a public place.
Applicants must put down a £100 deposit, which is refundable upon the safe return of the bike at the end of a one or two-year agreement.
Featured on BBC News earlier this summer, the scheme is funded by displaying adverts on the frame and rear mudguards - hence the need to park it where it can be seen.
It is hoped that the scheme will help ease congestion within the capital.
The first 200 bikes will be sponsored by the payments platform Braintree and made available in Shoreditch in October. A further 1,500 bikes are scheduled to be added to the scheme in the spring of 2017.
According to the BBC, each bike will be equipped with a Bluetooth beacon which will connect with the Buzzbike app and allow parked bikes to interact with passers-by if they have an app from the brand supporter installed on their phone.
Riders will also be offered incentives to keep using their bikes, such as free coffee.
In an interview with the BBC, Buzzbike co-founder Tom Hayes, said: “We have a passion to build the largest urban cycling community, and therefore it’s much better that our members are engaged with the brands who support the free bikes.”