CRA 2012 winner - Innovation
Brompton Dock Hire is helping to revolutionise Cycle-Rail travel and public perceptions too. Our judging panel acknowledged the way this solution extends Brompton’s traditional appeal by making the Bike’s portability a feature of many TOC Cycle-Rail strategies.
The fact the facility is fully automated means it can operate around the clock – without staffing – for supreme flexibility and customer convenience. The panel also remarked on the scalability of the project – completely driven by local demand.
Cycle hire is not a new concept, but Brompton’s portability makes it a very viable choice regardless of space available at the train station.
The project brief was to develop a fully-automated docking station that would house 40 Brompton folding bikes in a single car park space. An integrated, fully-automated billing system would calculate hire charges and debit the scheme member’s credit or debit card following a simple online registration process. Trials revealed that a mobile phone text messaging system was the most appealing and effective way of accessing the docks and other features included pre-reservation of bikes and empty bays and an automated fault reporting system.
The first docking station was trialled in conjunction with South West Trains at Guildford to gauge demand and test the functionality of the equipment. Once this was completed in July 2012, further docks were tested at Manchester Piccadilly, Stoke on Trent, the University of Greenwich (the first scheme of three docking stations at multiple sites) and the London Borough of Ealing, which trialled the text messaging capability too. The next phase will see further docking stations in towns throughout the UK from Exeter in the west to Canterbury in the east, the Isle of Wight in the south to Manchester in the north by summer 2013.
Ruth from Brompton Dock told us: “We were delighted to win the National Cycle-Rail Award for Innovation last year. As a relatively new company it is great to get some recognition for the design of your product and winning the award for innovation meant a lot to us. We know that our product is truly unique; we are the only provider of a fully automated cycle hire scheme for folding bicycles. Winning the award has added credibility to our product; this has been useful when approaching potential partners as it shows ATOC’s confidence in, and support for our service.”