The world's largest bike share scheme is expanding across west London next month after successfully launching in Ealing.
Mobike, which introduced 750 communal bikes to the borough in September 2017, is expanding its existing scheme in Ealing and confirmed its upcoming arrival in Hounslow.
From February 1, the bike sharing company will expand Ealing operations by more than 500 bikes and will create 70 new Mobike parking hubs in the borough due to “increasing demand”.
With more than a quarter of Hounslow being parkland, the scheme's makers hope to provide an “easy, sustainable and affordable transport alternative” for those living or working in the borough.
Using specially designed bikes with GPS and proprietary smart-lock technology, Mobike enables app users to find a bike near them, reserve and unlock it, all using their smartphones.
Speaking after the announcement on Friday (January 26), Councillor Julian Bell, leader of Ealing Council, said the expansion “could not have come at a better time”.
“We've seen high usage rates from residents since launching last September in Acton and the more residents getting active on their journey around the borough the better,” he said.
“As a cyclist myself, I know how convenient it is to get on two wheels so to have the dockless bikes more widely available across the borough is great."
He added: “We have a good network of cycle paths and quiet ways which make it safer for cyclists.
“We hope that having the opportunity to quickly and cheaply grab a Mobike to make a short journey will show our residents just how easy it is to travel by two wheels and encourage more to make the switch for good.”
The scheme is Ealing’s first smart and dockless bike share scheme and it is designed to benefit users, local business and communities.
It will also benefit Ealing and Hounslow Councils through the unique data insights provided by technology installed on the bikes.
The data provided will help manage location-based bike demand and inform infrastructure planning in the long term, according to Mobike.
Councillor Amrit Mann, deputy leader at Hounslow Council and cabinet member for environment, spoke ahead of the launch in Brentford Market Square on February 1.
He said: “Encouraging more local journeys to be made on two wheels forms a key part of our plan to increase physical activity levels and so improve health, reduce transport-related pollution and help ease congestion.
“We think this scheme offers a convenient new option for anyone looking to make a short trip in and around our borough when they don't necessarily have their own bike.”
Keep up to date with the latest news in west London via the free getwestlondon app.
You can set up your app to see all the latest news and events from your area, plus receive push notifications for breaking news.