Seeing at least one Santander bike whizzing around every time you leave the house has become about as normal an occurrence as seeing the pigeons in Trafalgar Square. They’ve been around for 12 years now, and have proved a useful and efficient way of navigating the busy streets of London.
This week, TfL have introduced a brand new layer to the Santander bikes’ brilliance, too. Say hello to the fresh creation: a Santander e-bike. It was probably only a matter of time before this happened, with the use of e-bikes on apps such as Uber and Lime being around for yonks now, but it’s another welcome addition to the Transport For London-verse all the same.
There’s now 500 of the new models available to hire at the 800 docking stations across the big smoke, and the introduction follows 12 record months of hires in the scheme between August 2021 – August 2022. 9.5 million hires have taken place so far in 2022.
As of September 12, there have also been changes to the Santander Cycles fare tariff to support the system. Users of the bikes can now be hired for a flat-rate of £1.65 per 30-minute ride, which matches a ride on the bus, and replaces the daily access charge of £2 for unlimited 30-minute rides for 24-hours. Alternatively, cyclists can opt for a membership option of £20-per-month, which can be cancelled at any time and offers users unlimited 60-minutes rides throughout the month. The annual membership of £120 now offers unlimited 60-minute rides, as opposed to the 30-minutes offered in the previous deal.
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “I am delighted to see our first ever Santander Cycles e-bikes in action on London’s streets today, and to join Londoners riding these e-bikes around our city on their first day. Their launch is another momentous moment for cycling in London after a record-breaking year for TfL’s Santander Cycles which saw over 12.5m hires.
“The new e-bikes have an important role to play in breaking down some of the barriers that prevent Londoners from getting on a bike, whether that be fitness, age or length of journey. I’m determined to make cycling as accessible as possible as we continue building a safer, greener, more prosperous London for everyone.”