Sunday 26 May 2019

Electric avenue for cyclists as BleeperBike expands its fleet

Dublin-based company BleeperBike currently has 450 ‘stationless’ bicycles around the city for public use.
Dublin-based company BleeperBike currently has 450 ‘stationless’ bicycles around the city for public use.
Ian Begley

Ian Begley

Cycling through Dublin is about to become easier than ever with the roll-out of up to 300 electric bikes.

Dublin-based company BleeperBike currently has 450 ‘stationless’ bicycles around the city for public use.

A BleeperBike bicycle – which makes a bleep sound when locked and unlocked – allows users to rent out bikes which can be locked up at any public bike rack around the city.

With the success of its first year in operation, the company is now set to double its number of bikes in the next three years.

This will include the addition of 200 to 300 electric bikes, a new concept for Dublin city. 

BleeperBike’s chief executive Hugh Cooney told Independent.ie that the new fleet will have a multitude of advantages.

“They will be great for people with long distances in their commute, especially if their route has a lot of hills,” he said.

“Electric bikes are slowly being introduced to bike sharing schemes around the world and have proven to be successful in New York.

“We’ll be looking at rolling out between 200 to 300 to see how the public take to them.

“Then, over the next couple of years, our fleet will probably consist of 50pc standard and 50pc electric.”

Mr Cooney said because their electric bikes will be pedal-assisted they don’t need the council to enact any new laws. 

“We made sure our electric bikes are covered by existing legislation,” he said.

“As long as they don’t have throttle and are pedal-assisted the public will be able to use them. The bikes also need to have a max of 250 watts.”

BleeperBike was one of two operators granted licences last May to deploy stationless bike-sharing services.

However, the other firm, Urbo, never deployed any bikes.

Dublin City Council is now re-advertising its bike sharing licences to one other company, giving interested parties up until May 3 to submit their applications.

“BleeperBike’s licence has been renewed,” a council spokesperson told Independent.ie

“Urbo’s licence has been rescinded as they weren’t in a position to provide a service.

“We have now advertised for applications for the second operator’s licence.

“BleeperBike currently has 450 bikes on streets. The second operator will be allowed the same. Operations are constantly reviewed and the council envisages that further bikes will be permitted for both operators.”

The council has increased cycling parking facilities throughout the city, with more than 1,300 extra cycle parking spaces installed over the past few months.

Herald

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