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Plans to more than double the size of Glasgow’s mass automated cycle hire (MACH) scheme have been approved.
Glasgow City Council’s Executive Committee today (Thursday, 2 February) approved a new seven-year contract which will see the city’s hugely successful scheme continue – and expand – from autumn this year.
The current MACH scheme launched in June 2014 with 400 bikes available for public hire at 31 MACH stations across the city. It now has 435 bikes available at 43 stations.
It has been hugely popular with an astonishing 270, 897 rentals and 16,058 registrations. Last year saw the highest ever number of rentals in one day – 769 – on 1 June 2016. The figure surpasses the previous record of 702 on 28 July 2014, during the Commonwealth Games.
The contract with the current provider of the scheme (Nextbike UK Limited) ends this year and while there is the option to extend it by two further 12 month periods, under EU procurement rules there can be no further expansion of the current scheme (i.e. there can be no increase to the number of bikes or the number of stations).
As a result, the council decided to carry out an open tender process to deliver a new – and longer – contract.
Today (Thursday, 2 February) the council’s Executive Committee agreed to award the new seven year contract to Nextbike UK Limited. This will see more than double the number of bikes available and create many more cycle stations around the city.
Councillor Frank McAveety, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “The MACH scheme has been a phenomenal success since it launched and the people of Glasgow and surrounding areas have really embraced it. The MACH bikes are being seen in use all over the city and are very popular with commuters, students, businesses and visitors.
“It’s clear there is a real appetite for the cycle hire scheme in Glasgow. We receive overwhelming feedback from users of the scheme and numerous requests for more stations.
“We want to see the scheme continue to grow, bringing more bikes and stations to the city for people to use.
“This is yet further progress, in addition to the millions of pounds we’re investing on cycle routes and infrastructure across the city, in realising our ambition to make Glasgow one of the UK’s most cycling friendly cities.”
The current provider of the scheme, NextBike, operates 35,000 bikes in 80 city locations worldwide including Auckland, Baku, Dubai, Nurnberg and Zagreb. Glasgow’s is the biggest bike scheme in Scotland and fourth largest in the UK.
Locations for the additional MACH stations will be selected based on factors such as where there is already high demand; the proximity to existing stations; key cycling and transport routes and future developments.
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