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Boris-Bike firm penalised by £5m over system hiccups

London rentacycle project not having smooth ride

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Transport for London is witholding £5m in payments to Serco, the company behind the capital's bike rental scheme.

TfL is unhappy that problems with the back-end system have seen users overcharged. It has given Serco a timetable to fix problems, according to the Beeb, and is witholding the money because of missed targets. It is sending in a hit team to help Serco sort the issues out.

Use of the blue bikes by tourists and casual users had to be delayed last year because systems were not robust enough.

When the Barclays-sponsored system was finally opened up for visitors it again suffered system problems.

Real-time data from docking stations was finally released for application developers yesterday, but even that doesn't seem to have gone entirely smoothly, according to this forum thread.

More serious than system wibbles, insiders also told the BBC that big changes to pricing were needed to stop docking stations at mainline rail termini emptying immediately, especially in the mornings. ®

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