TfL announced yesterday that Serco is the successful bidder to set-up and run the London Cycle Hire scheme.
The scheme is set to launch in the summer of 2010 with 6,000 hire bikes based across zone one, accessible from 400 docking stations sites. TfL estimates that the scheme will generate around 40,000 extra cycle trips a day.
Serco has a long-established relationship with TfL, operating the DLR and Woolwich ferry whilst also maintaining traffic signals.
The bike hire scheme will use similar infrastructure to the BIXI bike hire project in Montreal, with the company providing the bikes (pictured above), docking stations and terminals where users will register and pay.
Boris Johnson's ability to guide this project to fruition may well define his Mayoralty, with the bike hire scheme and new Routemasters the most visible examples of his transport policy. Already the cost and roll-out of the project have been revised (hat tip: Dave Hill). Further delays or cost increases could potentially turn this exciting project into a very visible albatross around the Mayor's neck.
UPDATE 14/08/09: London Reconnections has more on the Oyster-compatibility of the scheme.