AN extra 50 for-hire bikes will be available for commuters in the capital from today as part of the expansion of the Dublin Bikes scheme.
The city's Lord Mayor Oisín Quinn officially opened the first of a series of new stations this morning at North Wall Quay in the Docklands.
Six stations will be open from the middle of December, with further ones planned at Clonmel Street, York Street West, York Street East, Great Strand Street, North Wall Quay at Excise Walk, Fenian Street, Grattan Street and Mount Street Lower.
“Today Dublin City Council and JCDecaux are announcing the opening of the excellent new dublinbikes station with 40 bike stands at North Wall Quay in the Docklands," Mr Quinn said.
"We are also opening a new station today at Deverell Place, off Gardiner Street, and an extension to the popular Talbot Street station. These are the first of 58 new dublinbikes stations which will open between now and July 2014."
Members have taken over six million dublinbikes journeys since the scheme opened in September 2009.
The expansion will see 58 new stations and 950 new bikes added to the current 550 bikes and 44 stations.
The €35m expansion will see the scheme expand west from the city centre towards Hueston Station and east further into the Dublin Docklands.
The system costs €1.9m a year to operate, is funded by subscription fees from the travelling public.
Some 36,000 are currently members, which is expected to double, with annual membership rising from €10 to €20 from December 6 next.
Three-day membership of the scheme is €5.
Joanne Grant, managing director of JC Decaux Ireland said: "We are delighted to commence the expansion of the Dublin Bikes network which will integrate the scheme even further into the fabric of the city.
"We would like to thank our subscribers for their support and the people of Dublin for recognising the positive impact that Dublin Bikes has had on city life here in the capital. We intend to build on this and to continue to deliver a world class bike scheme to the city of Dublin.”
By July next year, the network will include 102 stations and 1,500 bikes.