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You can now book a Boris bike with your smartphone

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Santander bike

London’s bicycle hire scheme now has a new mobile app that allows users to book a ride using their smartphone.

The app, developed by Transport for London, will mean customers no longer need to use the physical bike terminals to get a release code.

Once users have registered their bank card with the Santander Cycles app, they can click ‘hire now’, and receive a release code for a nearby bicycle.

The bikes already had a dedicated app built by previous owner Barclay’s, however all it allowed users to do was check for available bikes nearby.

Santander Cycles will offer the same features, with up-to-the-minute info on available cycles, journey planning, and, now, cost notifications at the end of your journey.

The new Santander Cycles app will make finding and hiring a bike in our great Capital city even more of a doddle,” said Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London.

“The app is packed full of handy new features and is part and parcel of our plans to take the cycle hire scheme to the next level and encourage more people on to two wheels.”

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You can download the Santander Cycles app on both iOS and Android, free of charge. Cycles can be hired for £2 a day for unlimited 30 minute journeys. Each release code is valid for 10 minutes.

It's worth noting that the app won't actually reserve a bike for you; you'll still need to make sure there are bikes nearby.

Boris bikes – named after London’s mayor – are the second-largest cycle hire scheme in Europe.

Since 2010, around 40 million journeys have been made using the bikes, which makes it a lucrative endorsement opportunity for new sponsor Santander.

“We’re absolutely committed to growing and developing Santander Cycles together with TfL by making more bikes available, providing more docking stations, and offering extra benefits in future to give Londoners and visitors to the capital the best possible experience,” said Santander UK’s chief executive, Nathan Bostock.

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