The Councils and Beryl have partnered for a five-year contract to provide Bike Share across Poole and Bournemouth. The distinctive emerald green bikes will soon be a familiar sight on the streets and will be available for instant hire via the Beryl App. The App tracks the GPS location of the bike allowing users to easily access and unlock any Beryl bike simply using a smartphone.
The scheme will be launched in spring/summer 2019, with an initial 50 brand new bikes conveniently distributed for use at key destinations including rail and bus stations, town centre shopping areas and tourist attractions. The gradual roll out of bikes will eventually increase to around 1,000 bikes by the summer months, available for instant hire. The Beryl bikes have three speed gears and a step through design, with fully adjustable handlebars and seats for a wide range of riders, from 4’11” to 6’5”.
The App can be downloaded on the Apple app store for iPhone, and the Google Play Store for Android users. Riders can choose to pay each time they cycle, or take up an annual membership. Users will be informed of the location of ‘Beryl Bays’, the preferred parking locations to leave the bikes. However, the scheme is designed with flexibility in mind and will allow users to park the bikes elsewhere, provided they are safely within the scheme area. Operators will keep track of all the bikes and will "re-balance" them as required to maximise availability.
Beryl has experience in bike share innovation, having been a lighting and technology partner to Transport for London bike share, and providing lights to the bike hire schemes in New York, Montreal and Glasgow. The British company already operates two corporate dockless bike share schemes in London and is accredited with Bikeplus, which is the agreed standard of Best Practice for the industry.
Philip Ellis, Beryl CEO said: “We are really pleased to be working with Bournemouth Borough Council and Poole Borough Council to bring our bike share system to the area. We will be calling on our experience working with world-class bike share schemes, such as those in London and New York, to provide the best service possible in Bournemouth and Poole.”
Councillor Mike Greene, Cabinet Member for Transport, Cleansing and Waste for Bournemouth Borough Council said: “I am delighted that we are partnering with Beryl to deliver an innovative Bike Share solution for our conurbation. The scheme will be a convenient, flexible and affordable option for both residents and visitors to our area.”
Councillor Ian Potter, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Transportation for Borough of Poole stated: “I am looking forward to trying the Beryl bikes and am certain that the ability to hop on and off will prove attractive in encouraging more people to take up cycling.”
There is no initial or ongoing cost to the Councils and Beryl will be responsible for supplying the bikes plus associated equipment as well as management and maintenance of the service. Beryl will also be investing in local cycling infrastructure in the area to ensure maximum efficiency for those riding. Future developments include the introduction of a fleet of electric bikes for hire and potential expansion of the scheme into Christchurch. Businesses will also be offered the use of shared electric cargo bikes to assist with local deliveries and help cut both carbon emissions and congestion.