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Bikes-for-hire paves way for borrow-a-car scheme

DUBLIN is looking at introducing a car-sharing initiative similar to the successful Dublinbikes scheme.

If the plan goes ahead, drivers will be able to sign up and borrow cars from stations around the city at a much cheaper price than renting a car or using a taxi.

The scheme aims to ease congestion and the pressure on car parking facilities by reducing car ownership.

Reduced car ownership could also lead to reduced emissions and better air quality.

Dublin's Traffic and Transport Strategic Policy Committee is meeting today to discuss the scheme.

The City Council said it hopes to "investigate the feasibility of implementing pilot regional or citywide car clubs or car-sharing initiatives, in combination with adjoining local authorities and operators, in order to encourage rationalisation of car ownership and decreased car usage".

Families

Research has found that one car club vehicle could replace up to 20 privately owned cars.

It would have benefits for cash-strapped individuals, families and companies who cannot afford a car. People who live in the city centre and mainly use public transport will be able to use these cars for longer errands.

Fine Gael TD Eoghan Murphy said: "For people who only need a car only a week for shopping or to visit a relative this will allow them to do that without the huge expense of owning a car. They won't have to worry about fuel, tax, NCT or parking."

The scheme could also provide businesses and even government with a more efficient alternative to a company car.

"It's cheaper than buying cars and giving employees the use of them or letting them use their own car and paying expenses. It saves the hassle of checking fuel receipts."

Efficient

The car club would track the cars mileage and time and all that information, so it's much more efficient for companies," said the Dublin South East TD.

The scheme would be run like Dublinbikes. If approved, the council will put a contract out to tender and hire a company or a few companies to run the car clubs. The cars would all be serviced, cleaned and maintained by the operators chosen.

Cllr Paddy McCartan said that if the project shows the same success as Dublinbikes it could be gradually expanded throughout the whole city.

However, to bring in such a scheme new legislation must be passed to allow councils to amend bye-laws so these car clubs could use public parking spaces.

The car club initiative will be opened to public consultation during January or February.

hnews@herald.ie


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