U.K.-based non-profit will help you get to your job, affordably.
Many motorcyclists buy their first bike for affordable transportation. Public transit doesn’t work for everyone, but not everyone can afford to outright buy a new motorcycle or scooter, either. That’s where Wheels to Work Silverstone, a U.K.-based non-profit comes in—it's renting reasonably-priced rides to people who need them.
Based out of Silverstone Circuit (where British Superbike, MotoGP and World Superbike race), Wheels to Work is provides long-term rentals in the surrounding region, including Oxfordshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Warwickshire, and Berkshire. The organization’s website says the idea is “to help people get to work, school or college when public transport is difficult.” Even in tightly-packed England, the bus/train system doesn’t work for everyone, so Wheels to Work offers another solution.
The program offers three scooters (Piaggio Liberty 50, Aprilia SR50R, Piaggio Liberty 125) and one motorcycle (Yamaha YS125). Rental fees start at £40 weekly for the Liberty 50, and scale up from there. Insurance is not included in the base price but Wheels to Work can help riders arrange that, as well as safety gear and a training course (mandatory for motorcyclists in the U.K.).
If riders want to bundle all their expenses together, Wheels to Work can come up with a single-payment plan. This bundles insurance, breakdown coverage, maintenance, riding gear, delivery/pick up of your two-wheeler when necessary, and regulatory paperwork fees.
Depending on specific situations, Wheels to Work even has free or reduced-fee rentals for those who qualify. To make this happen, local town councils subsidize Wheels to Work’s rental fees for riders who are unable to match their schedules to the public transportation system.
Wheels to Work’s rentals start at four months’ length. Riders have to pass an application process, but it all looks fairly straightforward, and a good way to get people back and forth to work or school. Would a similar scheme work in North America? It’s hard to say; in more congested urban areas, there’s possibly demand for long-term step-through rentals. With traffic running at high speed almost everywhere in even the largest cities, though, renting a low-powered machine might be a hard sell to many potential riders.