Greater Manchester cycle hire programme launches new, cheaper way to pay with ‘minute bundles’

Feb 3, 2023 | Transport

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Greater Manchester’s cycle hire scheme users can now pay for their journeys before they hop into the saddle, saving them money.

A new and convenient way to pay – ‘minute bundles’ – will now be available to riders through the Beryl app. Minute bundles will allow users to unlock standard pedal bikes without paying an unlock fee and use electric bikes (eBikes) at discounted rates. 

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) is hoping that through discounted rates and ease of use, minute bundles will help encourage more Greater Manchester residents to use active travel and help the city region meet net-zero targets.

The introduction of minute bundles comes as the cycle hire scheme hit another major milestone, with riders collectively clocking up over 500,000km in journeys since its launch in November 2021. 

The cycle hire scheme had previously only offered a pay-as-you-ride tariff, with users paying 50p to unlock a pedal bike or £1 for an eBike, which then cost 5p and 10p per minute to ride respectively. 

People who buy minute bundles will not need to pay to unlock standard pedal bikes, which will continue to cost 5p per minute to ride. While eBikes will still cost £1 to unlock using minute bundles, they will only be 5p per minute to ride which is half the existing cost. 

Riders will be able to save time and money by purchasing minute bundles of between £5 and £40 on the Beryl Cycle Hire app from 6 am, Monday 23 January.  

The existing ‘pay as you ride’ option will still be available to maximise flexibility for users.

Dame Sarah Storey, Active Travel Commissioner for Greater Manchester, said: “The cycle hire scheme has been a huge success, with more than 500,000km ridden by the current fleet of bikes up to the end of last year.

“As part of the refreshed active travel mission for Greater Manchester, which I launched in November, I recommended expanding the cycle hire scheme and looking for additional ways to make it even more cost-effective for users. The launch of the minute bundles is a great option for regular riders, making it more affordable at a time when everyone is feeling the pinch.

“I hope this change makes life easier for those already using the bikes and will give new users a reason to sign up soon.”

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, added: “It’s been fantastic to see the Greater Manchester cycle hire scheme take shape and I am so pleased that we can now offer users a new way to pay with the minute bundles.

“Cycle hire is a key part of our Bee Network vision for an integrated, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport system and this new incentive makes it easier than ever to use our bikes and save money in the process. 

“Embracing active travel into your daily lives is great for your health, your wellbeing and it could even save some money, especially if you are able to leave the car at home for local journeys now and again.”

The Greater Manchester cycle hire scheme is expanding, with 1,628 new GM Cycle Hire stands placed across Manchester, Salford and Trafford over the last year.

People can find their nearest cycle hire station by downloading the Beryl app on their mobile phones.

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