On March 23, 2020 the United Kingdom announced a stay at home order to combat Covid-19 transmission and to prevent the NHS from being overwhelmed. In response, just two days later, Freebike announced that it was making 100 of their electric bikes available to help NHS and key workers to safely get to and from work at a social distance.
“As a small British start-up, protecting NHS and key workers was the obvious thing to do, especially in a time of severe uncertainty. Bike sharing schemes are clearly the safer option compared to taxis and public transport.
As shared bikes could still have contaminated surfaces, to be safe, we still disinfected the high-contact areas on Freebike at every opportunity. We saw fresh, open air as the sanctuary for those that still needed to travel outside their homes.”
The result? 8,000 journeys and over 45,000 KMs and a safer daily routine.
A staff member at the Imperial College Healthcare Trust, expressed gratitude to Freebike, telling them:
“You guys are incredible. I cannot tell you how the bicycles have made such a difference for me. Not to mention the confidence it has given me as someone who was terrified to cycle in London. Honestly it is one of my favourite parts of the day now”
Hopefully, London councils, organisations, and employers will continue to foster this cycling trend with favourable policies and infrastructure that are conducive to big-city cycling. We all know London needs it.