Cycle sharing schemes are popping up all over the UK – from London to Belfast, Glasgow, Manchester, Bristol… the list goes on.
We think Swansea deserves a piece of the action!
We’ve entered the Santander Cycles University Challenge competition to win £100,000 of investment in 50 bikes at 5 docking station hubs across the city. To win the competition, we have to crowdfund as much money as we can, to support the operating costs of the scheme.
Bike sharing – what is it and why is it so great?
In a nutshell – bike sharing is a great way to get around a city. There are docking stations dotted around at various locations, with bikes that you can unlock by tapping a few buttons on your mobile phone. You can hop on and go where you want to go, then drop the bike off at the nearest docking station to your destination. Simple and no hassle.
The bikes are easy to ride and designed for normal people – not for pro cyclists (or pro cyclist wannabes). There’s no need for fancy gear and definitely no lycra!
What does the proposed Swansea scheme look like?
We’re planning for 5 docking station hubs along the sweep of Swansea Bay:
There will be 50 bikes, that will be checked daily and rebalanced between the stations. A local company, Sarn Helen, will be responsible for the servicing and rebalancing.
The scheme will be operated by Nextbike, and if you join the scheme you will also be able to use bikes in over a hundred cities worldwide where Nextbike operate schemes.
You’ll be able to use the bikes either by signing up for an annual membership (£60) or by pay-as-you-go. The current (2017) prices are shown below:
PAY AS YOU RIDE
First 30 minutes per ride
Free of charge
Every additional 30 minutes
5 hours – 24 hours
If it’s a Swansea University scheme, what does it have to do with the rest of Swansea?
It will be “the University bike scheme that everyone can use”. While branded and underwritten by Swansea University, the scheme is equally aimed at the local community, local organisations, businesses and their staff. As well as at the two University campuses, there will be docking stations at the National Waterfront Museum, the Civic Centre and the Fabian Way Park and Ride. If successful, it is intended to expand the scheme in future to more Swansea locations.
What's in it for me - why should I pledge?
Apart from the fabulousness of getting a brilliant, cutting-edge bike sharing scheme for Swansea?
We’re offering great value rewards if you pledge your support. Examples include:
Your first year’s membership will be given to you free if you pledge £25, a massive discount on the standard £60 cost.
Or if you only want to give £10, then we’ll reward you with a free one-week trial.
Of course, the more money you pledge, the more likely it is that the scheme will go ahead. And don’t forget that if we don't win the competition then your money is refunded. It’s a win-win situation.
We’ve got tonnes of fab rewards for different levels of pledge - have a look down the right-hand side of this page for options.
How does the competition work?
Our campaign is different to most crowdfunding campaigns, because we don’t just have to reach our target, we have to exceed it.
We’re one of five universities in this final stage of the Santander Cycles University Challenge competition. The competition winners will be the two universities that raise the most funds (as a %) above their official crowdfunding target. The set target is the cost of operating the scheme for one year – which is why the target varies slightly between the different finalists.
Crowdfunding is all about momentum – the more people that pledge early on, the easier it is to persuade more people to pledge – it’s a real snowball effect! Pledges early on in the campaign are worth more to us than pledges later on.
So if you’re thinking about pledging – do it now!
How will we spend the money raised?
What will we do if raise more money than our target?
To win the competition we need to raise more than our target. 50% of any funds raised over and above the target will be used to make further capital investments – more bikes and docking stations – which could include more locations. The other 50% will pay for the additional running costs that will come as a result of the extra investment.
What are people saying about the scheme?
Fantastic news for the city… if Swansea University were to be successful in winning the competition, our staff as well as the citizens and visitors to Swansea would regularly use this new and exciting facility in the city as a method to commute, exercise, explore and shop.
Louise White, Hr and Estates Director, Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency (Swansea)
It would enable our staff to improve their fitness, health and wellbeing and give access to alternative methods of commuting to work and to and from local meetings.
Simon Cursio, Mangaging Director, First Cymru Buses Limited
We anticipate this scheme will be very popular… this is a fantastic opportunity for Swansea University and the region as a whole
Marnie Clarke, Human Resources Manager, NPT Homes
This is an ideal opportunity to support and encourage cycling activities amongst students and staff. It has been identified, from our recent student and staff travel survey (December 2016), that this biggest barrier to students and staff participating in cycling activities, is not owning a bike. Therefore, the scheme would enable more students and staff to cycle, by providing bikes which can be used for short and longer trips.
Craig Nowell, Director of Estates and Facilities, Swansea University
Plans for a bespoke bikeshare scheme will make a difference to the whole community by offering university students and staff, as well as local residents and visitors, a quick and affordable way of getting about the city.
James Carlos, Swansea University student and “Cycle Champion”
At 360 we see loads of cyclists already, and to give more opportunity for people to get out and about on the bay would be brilliant.
Kate Hannington, General Manager, 360 Beach and Watersports
For students it can be difficult to bring your bike to university, especially if you’re an international student, so a bike share scheme would mean students can get around cheaply and easily.
Chisomo Phiri, President, Swansea University Students’ Union
So what are you waiting for? Pledge it! Win It! Use It!