The number of bikes in Dublin’s bike hire scheme is to grow to 5,000 by 2018, up from the current 550 bikes, according to the Irish Independent.
The hire scheme has been a positive influence on the roads, with Junior Transport Minister Alan Kelly telling the Irish Independent: "Motorists have changed their behaviour and are more accommodating of cyclists [as] the general visibility of cycling has come on."
More than six million journeys have been made since the scheme launched in September 2009 with over 36,000 active long-term subscribers. As 95 per cent of journeys take less than 30 minutes, they are free to subscribers. This is an area which may lay the scheme open to controversy. Taipei’s YouBike rental service has a similar ‘free for trips less than 30 minutes’ price structure which the Taipei City Bicycle Commerce Association has blamed for the closure of 20 bike shops in the city (source: Taipei Times).
Station 99, at City Quay, is among the latest dublinbikes stations to be opened.
The expansion plans have actually been long held, with the then Dublin Mayor previously stating his hopes to grow the scheme to 5k bikes in an interview with BikeBiz three years ago.
This year sees Dublin host the Giro d’Italia after it starts in Belfast and rides through Armagh to the city. The Irish Cycling Show has linked closely with Dublin City Council and the Giro organisers for this year’s edition of the show – we’ve more details on that in the next issue of BikeBiz magazine.