Forest will continue operating in the London boroughs of Kingston and Sutton following the decision from the boroughs to extend the contract for one year. The contract extension follows the initial 12 month trial period which began in September 2022.
The renewed contract launched in early September 2023 and will be in place for 12 months, after which time all parties will review its success with the goal of extending it further.
Forest worked closely with both boroughs to locate 125 virtual parking bays across the two operational zones, which were reviewed by the borough for their approval.
These bays have helped to ensure that safe parking rates continue to rise.
Since launching in the boroughs, Forest bikes have been ridden 130,000 miles with average trips distances of 2.3 miles.
The scheme has helped prevent 23 tons of CO2 from being released into London’s air.
Forest data indicates that the majority of rides are taken during peak commuting hours (8-10am) and (5-7pm), suggesting that the strong uptake has been primarily driven by residents who use the service to get to and from the workplace.
More than 75% of the trips taken on Forest bikes are from the periphery of the boroughs into the town centres.
This highlights the benefit of the service for local convenience journeys and supports Kingston’s Air Quality Action Plan and Sutton’s Sustainable Transport Strategy by incentivising and improving access to cycling.
Alex Berwin, Forest’s head of policy, said: “Forest is pleased to have been granted the opportunity to continue providing our affordable and sustainable shared e-bike service to residents, commuters and visitors in both Kingston and Sutton.
“As an outer London borough where air pollution is often a real cause for concern, it’s great to see our service grow in popularity and help reduce our over reliance on private cars.”