Thursday 20 September 2018

Barrett's Bartra backs Bleeperbike as it seeks to introduce electric cycles

Dick Brady and Lauren Richards, Dublin City Council; Sean O’Dwyer, director of Urbo bikes; Celine Reilly, Dublin City Council; Hugh Cooney, CEO of Bleeperbike; Cllr Ciaran Cuffe; and Kevin Meade, Dublin City Council, at the announcement in May that two operators, Urbo and Bleeperbike, had been granted licences to operate bike-hire schemes.
Dick Brady and Lauren Richards, Dublin City Council; Sean O’Dwyer, director of Urbo bikes; Celine Reilly, Dublin City Council; Hugh Cooney, CEO of Bleeperbike; Cllr Ciaran Cuffe; and Kevin Meade, Dublin City Council, at the announcement in May that two operators, Urbo and Bleeperbike, had been granted licences to operate bike-hire schemes.
Richard Barrett, Bartra
Gavin McLoughlin

Gavin McLoughlin

Richard Barrett's Bartra has backed Bleeperbike, a bike-sharing scheme that had a run in with Dublin City Council last year.

Bleeperbike allows users to rent out bikes which can be locked up at any bike rack around the city.

It is similar to the council's Dublin Bikes scheme but without having specific docking stations.

Founder and CEO Hugh Cooney said it was going to use the €75,000 invested by Mr Barrett to finish out an R&D programme for the next version of its bike.

The current bikes are standard pushbikes but Mr Cooney plans to introduce a so-called e-bike, which has an electric motor incorporated to help boost power.

Mr Barrett was a principal of the property firm Treasury Holdings alongside well-known developer Johnny Ronan.

Mr Cooney worked for that business in China and has known Mr Barrett since that time.

Bleeperbike planned to launch the scheme last year but ran into problems with Dublin City Council which said it wanted to put bye-laws in place to manage the scheme first.

The bikes were then withdrawn from the streets, and after the by-laws were put in place Bleeperbike was given a licence to operate, along with another firm, Urbo.

Bleeperbike gets its name from a machine attached that makes a "bleep" when the bikes are locked and unlocked from the bike rack.

Mr Cooney got the idea having observed stationless bike-sharing during his time in China.

"The focus is to do a good job in Dublin so we're launching in Blanchardstown this month with Fingal County Council, and we have pilots up and running across Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown and South Dublin as well," Mr Cooney said.

"There's a fair logistics and operational challenges to get right so we're not looking very much beyond Dublin until we get that going really well.

"Then we'll see what opportunities are around at that time," he added.

Gavin McLOUGHLIN

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