Mark Beaumont launches Edinburgh’s first bike scheme Just Eat Cycles

Published: 14 Sep 2018

  • 200 bikes at nineteen locations throughout the city launched
  • 3 annual subscriptions to Just Eat Cycles won by at Meadows launch

Today, ultra-endurance cyclist Mark Beaumont and Council leader Cllr Adam McVey officially launched the Just Eat Cycles scheme with a ribbon cutting ceremony outside the City Chambers.

Mark Beaumont, an Edinburgh resident who broke records last year by cycling around the world in 79 days, rode a Just Eat Cycles bike from the City Chambers to a launch party in Middle Meadow Walk, giving residents a first glimpse of the bikes and app. Cycling giveaway bags were handed out, with three lucky winners getting their hands on annual subscriptions to the bike scheme, normally worth £90.

The first nineteen locations where you can pick up a bike include Bristo Square, Waverley Bridge, Fountainbridge, Stockbridge, Charlotte Square and Ocean Terminal where an initial 200 bikes are now available.

The Just Eat branded Pashley bikes have all been given names that reflect Scotland’s history and culture, including Sherlock, after Edinburgh author Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous detective, and Greyfriar, after popular tourist site Greyfriars Kirk. This theme will continue as more bikes hit the streets.

At the launch, Mark Beaumont said: “Launching Just Eat Cycles is an exciting step for Edinburgh and the people who live, visit and study here. The app is very simple to use and the bikes will allow everyone to explore our great city.”

Council leader Cllr Adam McVey, said: “The launch of a city wide cycle hire scheme marks a new era in public transport for Edinburgh and the people who work, study and visit here. Investment in cycling infrastructure has gathered pace in recent years in Edinburgh, and this affordable and accessible scheme will complement the existing transport options available to those looking to get around the Capital.”

Users can hire bikes through an annual membership, on a daily basis, or for up to an hour using the simple smartphone app, Just Eat Cycles, available for free from the Apple App Store or Google Play. Bikes can be returned to any cycle hire point at any time, with the closest available stations shown in the app.

Just Eat Cycles uses a pricing structure that allows users to make single journeys from as little as £1.50. Hirers can use ‘extended rentals’ to enjoy trips of more than 1 hour. Trips of over 1 hour will incur an additional £1 charge for each extra 30 minutes.

Other rates include £3 for a day pass, allowing unlimited hires of up to 1 hour each in a 24 hour period. For £90, or £75 during September 2018, users can sign up for an annual membership, allowing hires of up to 1 hour each for 365 days.

Charles Graham, Serco’s General Manager for Just Eat Cycles, said: “We’re delighted to now share Just Eat Cycles with the people of Edinburgh. We’re confident that the scheme will offer users a convenient and enjoyable alternative mode of transport for exploring the city and get more people out and about on two wheels.”

George Lowder, Chief Executive of Transport for Edinburgh, added: “It’s a very proud moment to see Just Eat Cycles officially operational and the public riding the bikes. Our vision is for a far-reaching scheme which will attract a broad range of residents, visitors, commuters and students to cycling. We’re delighted with the enthusiasm shown so far by Edinburgh natives and can’t wait to see the bikes in action on a daily basis in the city. I am also hugely grateful to the whole activation team for all their hard work to get us to this point.”

Serco worked with the City of Edinburgh Council, The University of Edinburgh and private landowners to create a network of hire points across the city. Further hire points will be added across Edinburgh in a rolling programme.

The Pashley bikes will offer cyclists excellent handling and ride quality, featuring high quality Shimano gears and brakes, comfortable gel saddle, front and rear LED lights, full-length mudguards, puncture resistant tyres (that do not compromise ride quality) and a step-through frame allowing ease-of-use for all cyclists regardless of height. The cycles have a redesigned gear set to suit Edinburgh.

The bikes are equipped with Norwegian firm Urban Sharing’s industry-leading smart technology, including built-in GPS and GSM capability enabling annoymised real-time communication between the bike and back office control systems. This will help Serco to ensure the bikes are well maintained and distributed to the correct hire point locations at the right time to meet customer demand.

The three-year concession agreement between Transport for Edinbrugh and Serco will deliver a total of 1,000 manual bikes by the end of December 2018.

The cycle scheme will also be using innovative technology including the unique hybrid lock provided by Urban Sharing the operators of cycle hire schemes in Oslo Trondheim and Bergen.

Ends