Yell for Bikes – another way to find cycles for hire in London

Embattled and debt-ridden directory publisher Yell (oh yes, we read the business section) has released an iPhone and Android app dedicated to helping London people find their free bicycles.

It’s pretty similar to the many Google Maps-based alternatives already out there that monitor data provided by the London Barclays bike hire scheme, but it’s rather slick and nice. So here are two screenshots of it.

yell bikes android 1 yell bikes android 2

The app break results down into two sets – one showing registered available bikes, and other set for docking stations – toggled between by that switch in the bottom-left of the display. How convenient. Here’s the press release:

London cyclists will now be able to stay one step ahead of the crowds thanks to Yell for Bikes – a new, free app available from the Apple App Store and Android Market allowing users to instantly find their nearest London Barclays hire bike or the closest, most convenient space to leave it.

With members of the Barclays Cycle Hire Scheme now numbering over 90,000 and plans to open the scheme to casual users by the end of the year, the Yell for Bikes app will ensure users avoid frustrating trips to empty docking stations, particularly during peak times like rush hour.


Powered by Yell Labs, the app, which requires an iPhone or an Android phone, can be downloaded for free from the App Store or Android Market providing data in real time so that users can see exactly how many bikes and spaces are left in a bike docking station of their choice.

The technology uses just one click to allow consumers to find their nearest bike and nearest space and then tag their favourite docking stations so that they have a personal view of bike and space availability. There is also a timer to make it clear if they are going to exceed their free initial 30 minutes or move to the next charging band.

Yell has tracked data from the bike scheme to create a fascinating live demonstration of how the bikes move around London. It confirms there are still issues with availability and reveals the capital’s hot and cold spots for bikes. They have contrasted a regular day with a recent tube strike which reveals more people using bikes earlier in the day to get into central London.

The highest demand for bikes in the morning and spaces in the evening include Notting Hill, Maida Vale, Paddington, Marylebone, Waterloo and Elephant & Castle. While the highest demand for spaces in the morning and bikes in the evening include Central London, the West-end and the City.

Matthew Bottomley, Director of New Media at Yell, said: “Our trending data has revealed that demand for the bikes exceeds supply at key times of the day. In the morning hot spots include mainline train stations for bikes and central London for spaces – and this is reversed in the afternoon.”

Bottomley continues, “With the popularity of the scheme due to increase, our app will ensure that London cyclists can get the most out of the Barclays Cycle Hire Scheme.

“Our trending data has revealed that demand for the bikes exceeds supply at key times of the day. In the morning hot spots include mainline train stations for bikes and central London for spaces – and this is reversed in the afternoon.” – Matthew Bottomley, Director of New Media at Yell

“With the popularity of the scheme due to increase, our app will ensure that London cyclists can get the most out of the Barclays Cycle Hire Scheme.” – Matthew Bottomley, Director of New Media at Yell

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