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Car club wins free parking deal in city

IT'S Dublinbikes – but with cars: Dublin City Council will tomorrow launch a transport initiative that it hopes will cut congestion.

It has joined forces with GoCar to allow users of the car club service to park free in any of the city's 30,000 pay-and-display spaces from tomorrow.

It comes after the success of public bicycle scheme Dublinbikes, which has had well in excess of five million journeys since its introduction.

GoCar operates on the same principle as Dublinbikes – users hire the cars from a GoCar station, usually for short trips around the city.

The vehicles can be accessed at 32 different locations, including Heuston Station, Stoneybatter, the Docklands and Killester.

While GoCar will be the first licensed on-street car club operator, the local authority hopes to issue more permits.

The Lord Mayor, Oisin Quinn, and GoCar MD Colm Brady will launch the scheme.

Dublin TD Eoghan Murphy said the service is perfect for occasional car users or those unable to afford their own.

"It's a much cheaper way to have car use. If we look abroad, it's very popular in London, San Francisco, Germany and France," he said.

Mr Murphy believes being able to park for free in the city "will make a big difference" to the service.

He pointed out users "don't have to worry about tax and insurance", both of which are handled by the company.

When joining GoCar, there is a one-off fee of €50 and then a monthly fee of €5.

The rates vary from between €2.50 per hour and €6 per hour, depending on the time and the type of vehicle hired.

SPACE

Mr Murphy said a lot of people living in the city might leave their car sitting at home from Mondays to Fridays. "The service is for people like myself who don't have a car parking space because of where I live but I do need a car once a week."

The council hopes fewer people will drive their own cars into the city if more on-street car clubs begin operating.

This in turn would lessen congestion and make transport on buses more efficient.

"We would be keen that there would be a choice of operators," a spokesman told the Herald.

comurphy@herald.ie


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