A DEAL to expand Dublin's public bike scheme by 1,000 bicycles has been reached.
Dublin City Council is on the verge of signing an agreement with scheme operators JCDecaux, the Herald understands.
It is expected the number of bikes will almost triple, from 550 to 1,500.
In the region of 58 new bike stations are to be dotted across the city, concentrating on the tourist and commuter trails.
Among the areas to benefit are Heuston Station, St James's Hospital, the Dublin Docklands and the Guinness Storehouse.
Executive planner with the council Jason Frehill said they expected to be able to make a "very exciting announcement" which will be "good news for the city" within weeks.
However, he could not say at the moment when that would be announced.
But it is understood that €5.5m funding from the Government has been agreed to help with the expansion, which will be hugely welcomed by Dubliners who have taken to the scheme in their droves.
Labour councillor Dermot Lacey described Dublinbikes as the most successful public bike project in the world.
"The scheme has been successful and I welcome its expansion and hopefully it can proceed as quickly as possible," he told the Herald.
"In particular, I would like to see it developed around the coastline so people can cycle around Dublin Bay.
"It's good and it's positive and in a way I hope things like this are part of lifting the country out of depression.
"People said it couldn't work, that the bikes would be stolen but people in Dublin are proud of it," Mr Lacey said.
An official announcement is expected to be made no later than May 13. It comes as users of the on-street rental scheme have reached almost five million journeys since it began nearly four years ago.