Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has launched a search for a service provider to deliver the Greater Manchester Bike Hire scheme.
The £10 million scheme, which is being part-funded by the Mayor’s Challenge Fun, is set to launch in spring 2021 and aims to enable thousands more people to make active journeys.
As part of its first phase of a two-part procurement processes, TfGM has said it has “opened up a tender process with the intention of appointing a new provider by the end of the year”.
Phase one of the hire scheme will see a fleet of around 1,500 docked bikes, including e-bikes, installed in the city centre and key areas in Manchester, Salford and Trafford. If the phase is successful, the intention is to roll out the scheme across Greater Manchester.
Richard Nickson, director of cycling and walking at Transport for Greater Manchester, said: “This scheme is more timely than ever as we look towards the long-term effects of the coronavirus pandemic and how we Build Back Better, creating opportunities for a strong and successful recovery, while helping maintain the legacy of a 34% increase in cycle trips during lockdown.
"This scheme will play a pivotal role in enabling people to make short journeys in a sustainable way. Increasing access to bikes in this way will help cut air pollution, congestion and give people easier access to workplaces, leisure spots and key destinations via bike."
Increasing access to bikes is a key part of the ‘Made to Move’ 15-step plan developed by walking and cycling commissioner Chris Boardman, published in 2017.
Boardman said: “A third of households across Greater Manchester don’t have access to a car and almost 75% don’t have access to a bicycle. Greater Manchester bike hire will make bikes more accessible, convenient and deliver a viable travel option by providing public bikes within 500 metres of 100,000 metres.”
Bidders will be invited to submit an initial response outlining their capabilities and experience as part of the procurement process. A shortlist will then be compiled, and successful bidders will go through to a more detailed tendering process.