Get on your bike: Glasgow city centre cycle hire scheme is launched

A £600,000 scheme making 400 bikes available for hire by members of the public has been launched in Glasgow.

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Scheme's like this run in London. Main picture: Getty
Main picture: Getty

The new Mass Automated Cycle Hire (MACH) scheme will see bikes stationed at 31 permanent locations across the city, where people can rent out cycles by the half hour or hour.

Glasgow City Council, which launched the scheme with one month to go until the Commonwealth Games, said it was an "attractive, affordable and easy to use" system.

Under the initiative, customers will be able to register as a member or a casual user through the website, by smartphone or by telephone.

Once registered, they are provided with a username, membership and personal identification number.

Annual subscribers will be given an identification card which can be swiped over the cycle's on-board computer sensor to speed up the hire process, and as many as four bikes can be hired on one card.

Yearly membership costs £60, with hire free for the first 30 minutes and £1 an hour, capped at £5 for up to 24 hours.

Short-term users would pay £1 for half an hour's hire, with each additional half hour costing £1 and capped at £10 for up to 24 hours.

Local businesses can also sign up for a corporate membership to get their employees accessing the service.

The bikes are protected by a chain lock with a four digit code and GPS to help find any stolen cycles.

Council leader Gordon Matheson said: "Glasgow now joins other major cities around the world in having a bike scheme that is attractive, affordable and easy to use.

"The Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games will leave a lasting legacy in the city, giving us an ideal opportunity to capitalise on, and support, the continuing growth of cycling in Glasgow.

"We have studied similar schemes across the world to ensure we give the people of Glasgow, and visitors, a cycle hire scheme that meets their needs and compliments their lifestyles.

"Hiring of the cycles will be quick, easy and user-friendly. The operation of the scheme will be made efficient through the use of tried and trusted technology, such as mobile phones."

The scheme will also boost the city's green credentials, he suggested.

"This is the latest step, in addition to the millions of pounds we're investing on cycle routes across the city, to making Glasgow one of the UK's most cycling-friendly cities," Mr Matheson said.

The scheme is operated by NextBike, which runs similar initiatives in 80 city locations around the world.

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