Barclays Cycle Hire bikes have already become a defining part of the London street scene.
The Mayor's flagship cycle hire scheme has opened for Londoners and visitors to use whenever they wish without registering for membership - providing instant access to the Capital's newest form of public transport at anytime.
From 10:00 today, anyone with a Visa or MasterCard credit/debit card or Visa Electron will be able to go to one of the 352 docking stations across central London and follow simple on screen instructions at the terminal to release a Barclays Cycle Hire bike.
The bikes are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Once the customer has purchased their access period (for either 24 hours or seven days) the first 30 minutes of any journey will be free of usage charges.
Barclays Cycle Hire has already transformed the way Londoners travel around central London.
The scheme currently has in excess of 108,000 members who've already made more than 1.9 million journeys.
Around 20,000 journeys are being made on the iconic blue bikes during weekdays and this number is expected to go up by several thousand with the introduction of casual users.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: 'Our Barclays Cycle Hire bikes have already become a defining part of the London street scene.
'Now those who have only watched enviously from the sidelines can join the cycle revolution at the swipe of a card.'
The terminal will issue a five-digit cycle release code that the customer will need to enter on to the docking point pad, an amber light will illuminate whilst the code is being verified and when the light goes green the customer will be able to release the bike from the docking point.
At the end of their journey the customer is able to re-dock the bike at any docking station but they must ensure the docking point light turns green to indicate the bike is returned correctly.
Transport for London (TfL) has produced a handy short film that demonstrates how to hire a bike by simply using a payment card.
TfL's Managing Director of Surface Transport, David Brown, said; 'Barclays Cycle Hire has already changed the way many thousands of people travel around the Capital and we are now able to offer London's newest form of transport to everyone.
'Londoners and visitors will now be able to take full advantage of the scheme which has already proven to be terrifically good value.'
Deanna Oppenheimer, Vice-Chair, Global Retail Banking, CEO Western Europe and CEO UK Retail Banking at Barclays, said: 'The launch to casual users is a key landmark for Barclays Cycle Hire as it means everyone can now enjoy the many benefits that it provides.
'We look forward to thousands more Londoners, tourists and visitors becoming involved, as Barclays Cycle Hire continues to transform London.'
Becoming a Barclays Cycle Hire member still remains the fastest way to access a bike with no queuing at the on-street terminals.
UK residents can start using the cycle hire scheme as a member for just £4 - the cost of buying the membership key (£3) and their first 24-hour access period (£1).
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