Brompton have joined hands with Great Western Trains to give us rental bikes 24/7 at the Oxford Railway Station. The bikes on offer are the folding bikes from Brampton that we have come to know, love, or just accept as what the cool kids wearing ties and suits have while they travel on trains. This little vending machine can now be seen by the bike rack at the station:
As may or may not be visible from the picture above, you need to register first at www.bromptondock.co.uk and choose a tariff. This will give you a 4 digit pin number, and after that, every time you need to borrow a bike, you send a text with the dock number and your pin number and you get a number in response. Once you get that number, you enter it, and the bike is yours. Once done, you return the bike and you get charged accordingly.
We think this is a brilliant initiative, and definitely makes things easier for a lot of people who want to explore Oxford the only way that is practical, on a bike! However, the amount of money you have to pay per day may or may not be attractive to everyone. The advantage is that these bikes are a lot better and more manageable than the bikes you see in London, aka Boris Bikes.
The other perk to the system is that this scheme will be found all around UK and hence a membership is not just for Oxford. What do you think? In? Or out?