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City's bike-hire scheme may be extended out to suburbs and university

DUBLIN'S city bike scheme may be extended into the suburbs.

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council is actively pursuing the extension of the scheme into the Dundrum area and surrounding region.

Cllr Richard Humphreys has proposed the motion to the council and said that he has received a positive response.

"The particular problem of the Dublin Bike Scheme is that it doesn't go all the way to the city border," he said.

"I have been putting a question to the National Transport Authority and the council are keen to get involved.

"We want to see it extended as far as the city boundaries."

The Herald understands that negotiations are ongoing between the various parties.

"The council would strongly support the extension of a bike hire scheme on the basis of the Dublin bike scheme to Dun Laoghaire Rathdown," a council spokesman said.

"The National Transport Authority is currently exploring the feasibility of extending the scheme beyond Dublin city centre including the area of Dun Laoghaire Rathdown and South Dublin. Councillors will be advised as soon as the feasibility study is complete."

Cllr Humphreys said that he would like to see the bike stations pushed out as far as UCD.

"It seems an obvious place to start," he told the Herald.

"It is so near to the border of the two councils. We have a very strong cycling student population. Many of these live in the area currently served and would avail of this system."

And he said that he would consider a link-up with a major advertising firm, similar to the scheme in the city centre.

"I am open to any funding model that makes sense," Cllr Humphreys said. "The one that worked in Dublin City is not too obtrusive. I admit I was a bit sceptical about the advertising in the first place. But the JC Deceaux advertisements in the city centre are not too much.

"I do appreciate that money is very tight at the moment so I think we should consider every funding model."

The take-up of the bike scheme has been very encouraging for other county councils to consider introducing a similar system.

Dublinbikes now has over 37,500 long-term subscribers and is one of the most successful bike-share rental schemes in the world.

Cyclists pushed past the three million journey milestone way ahead of the target in February. The scheme now counts 44 stations and 550 bikes.