Nextbike, which has operated Stirling’s bike share scheme since 2014, has announced that it is expanding its partnership with Santander.
The operator will be replacing the existing bike share fleet with Santander Cycles branded smart bikes.
The new ‘smart bike’ fleet will be available to customers in early July and come with a range of improved features including:
– Improved GPS tracking
– Better security and upgraded locking mechanisms
– Eight gears compared to the three speeds on the outgoing bikes
The new bikes come with Santander Cycles branding and are on loan from the Santander Cycles Milton Keynes fleet until further development of bike share in Stirling has been agreed.
The move comes courtesy of the expanded partnership between Nextbike and Santander. Bike share users will also find that the Nextbike Stirling website, app and bike share stations will feature Santander branding, matching the smart bike fleet.
The University of Stirling has provided funding to temporarily extend the scheme and all University students and staff are eligible for a free membership.
Nextbike UK managing director Krysia Solheim said: “Expanding our partnership with Santander to Stirling is a great opportunity for us to give our Stirling riders a taste of an upgraded fleet.
“The upgraded smart bikes will make it easier and quicker for our customers to get around Stirling, especially as they sport 5 more gears than the outgoing models!”
Santander marketing director Dan Sherwood added: “It’s fantastic to expand the reach of Santander Cycles to Stirling as we continue to support communities to stay connected and mobile in a sustainable way. We hope many more people are encouraged to access the scheme and enjoy the great benefits of cycling.”
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Colin McNally, executive director of estates at the University of Stirling, said: “Nextbike is very popular with students, staff and visitors to the University, therefore, we are delighted that, by working with Santander, Nextbike and Forth Environment Link, we have extended this important service. We are incredibly grateful to Santander Cycles for the lease of these bikes – which will help ensure our community continues to get around Stirling, while staying active and healthy.”
The new bikes will be available through a new smart bike tariff. Access to the scheme will cost:
– Pay As You Go rentals: £1 for 20 minutes
– Monthly memberships: £12/month for unlimited 30 minute rides. Additional 30 minutes are still 50p
– Annual memberships: £6.50/month (12-month commitment) for unlimited 30 minute rides. Additional 30 minutes are still 50p
– Service fees for improper returns are now £20 for the first offence, rising to £40 for the second and £60 for the third improper return