The initiative, which follows similar projects in cities including Paris and Montreal, aims to ease overcrowding on London's commuter network, with 400 bicycle "docking stations" from Notting Hill in the west to the Tower of London in the east.
"The new system could transform the way Londoners as well as tourists navigate the city," said a spokesman for Transport for London (TFL), the capital's main travel authority.
Nicknamed "Boris's Bikes" after cycle-mad Mayor Boris Johnson, the system is free for the first half hour, although the rate rises steeply if the cycles are used for longer periods, with a maximum daily charge of 50 pounds ($78).
Hire scheme aims to get Londoners on bikes
July 29, 2010