July 2016 was the most successful month for Santander Cycle hire since the bike-sharing scheme was first introduced in 2010.
A record 1.18 million bikes were hired across London last month, an average of 38,000 hires a for each day of the month. The data from Transport for London shows that on three days, 19th, 30th and 31st of July there were more than 46,000 hires. The average hire time was 23 minutes.
The monthly total beats the previous record for July 2014 by 5,200. Summer months always prove the most popular times and monthly hires were also over one million in May and just under in June. The number of hires in January and February this year was around half the July total.
The city bike scheme was introduced on 30th July 2010. In the first two days 12,000 bikes were hired and in the first month 340,000 as the scheme was rolled out across the boroughs and the docking stations became a familiar sight on the streets.
The data shows that the most popular day in the scheme’s six-year existence was 9th July last year when 73,000 bikes were hired. On the 6th August that year the second highest total was recorded of 64,000.
Mainline stations are the popular hire points, as previously reported by Urbs, as commuters arriving from outside London and make their way to work in the morning and afternoon rush hours.
But the hire data at major landmarks and parks also suggests that tourists may be the biggest users of the bikes, with routes across Hyde Park among the most popular. The data shows that weekends see the largest usage and the most popular weekday for hire is a Thursday.
The bike sharing scheme was introduced by Boris Johnson when he was Mayor and the bicycles became known as Boris bikes despite a sponsorship deal with Barclays. Santander took over sponsorship of the scheme last year, but the bikes have not gone on to be re-named Sadiq cycles.