Technology & Transport Barclays is accepting pre-orders of its new credit/Oyster card, due to launch in September. Allowing Oyster swipe payment for goods under £10 in value, this is an important first step towards integrating Oyster across the transport network. With Visa and Mastercard also introducing similar schemes soon, LondonUnlocked hopes that the momentum produced will result in a more unified approach to paying for transport in London.
Meanwhile, Wired carries an article about National Express' intention to introduce WiFi and smart cards to their new London - Scotland franchise. Again, in the run up to the Olympics, it is vital that London is seen as being able to put schemes such as this into practice.
Paris' Cycling Scheme
As reported previously, Ken Livingstone is looking into taking the French 'freedom bike' scheme and introducing a version of it in London.
The Guardian follows up on the introduction of the scheme in Paris:
So huge is the success of the Vélib' that Paris is proclaiming a veritable "vélorution", reclaiming the streets for two-wheelers. This is not the first scheme to provide bikes for cheap short-hires - Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Oslo got there first, and Lyon was the pioneer in France - but Paris aims to be the biggest. More than 1.6m hires have been registered in the first month from the 800 bike stands around the city. Currently 10,600 bikes are in circulation, but by the end of the year that will double. The unisex bikes are provided by the poster advertising company JCDecaux to Paris city hall in return for ad space in the city, so at no cost to the taxpayer. It's a political triumph for Paris's socialist mayor, Bertrand Delanoë, and his opposite number Ken Livingstone is so impressed that he has ordered a consultation on bringing the scheme to London.