Friday 23 March 2018

Three cities saddling up to copy the success of bike scheme

Alan Kelly: summer plan

Alan Kelly
Alan Kelly
Caroline Crawford

Caroline Crawford

BIKE schemes for Cork, Limerick and Galway will be up and running by August – with over 700 more bikes on the roads.

Junior Transport Minister Alan Kelly said the selection of a successful bidder to operate all three schemes was imminent.

It is understood a final decision has now been made by the National Transport Authority and will be finalised in the coming days.

The initiatives, which hope to mirror the success of the Dublin Bikes scheme, will see more than 700 bikes for use at locations throughout Cork, Limerick and Galway.

Works are being carried out to erect bike stands across the cities and the bikes will be ready for use by August.

Members of the Dublin Bikes scheme have taken more than six million journeys since it opened in September 2009.

Mr Kelly said he envisaged the scheme being so successful in Galway that the local authority would be looking to expand it within six months.

"I personally want to see Galway come on stream as quickly as possible because I can think of no better city for a scheme like this. I guarantee it will be a phenomenal success in Galway.

"And what will happen after six months? The local authority working with the colleges will come to me and say we want to expand this, we want more stations, because it has been so successful," he added.

The scheme will see over 700 bikes for hire, with Cork receiving 315 bikes, 200 for Limerick and up to 220 in Galway.

Mr Kelly confirmed that the enabling works had already started in the cities with work for the docking stations being carried out by local authorities. This will allow the schemes to go live by August.

The scheme, which is being run in conjunction with Coca-Cola Ireland, cost an estimated €4m in capital investment with Coca-Cola Ireland investing €3m over five years. Operating costs for the ventures are expected to be €900,000 a year.

Irish Independent

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