Thursday, 7 November 2013
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
City Bikes Scheme
As the Deputy will be aware, the Programme for Government contains a commitment that to "look to extend the Dublin Bikes Scheme across the wider Dublin area and to other cities and integrate the scheme much more effectively with public transport links." In that regard, I am pleased to report that, led by my colleague Minister Kelly, work is well advanced within the National Transport Authority on finalising proposals for the provision of public bikes schemes in Limerick, Cork and Galway. Significant progress has been made in relation to the award of the contract for the supply, installation, operation and maintenance of the bike schemes. It is hoped that this contract can be awarded early in 2014 with construction to commence shortly thereafter.
Funding to meet the capital investment costs of public bikes in other cities has been identified within the 5-year capital allocation for Smarter Travel and Carbon Reduction Measures announced in 2012. The delivery of the Regional Cities Bike Scheme was also dependant on a separate process to explore the potential for a sponsorship contract to defray some of the costs associated with the introduction of the Scheme. This process has been completed with the recent announcement that Coca Cola emerged as the successful sponsor for the Scheme.
The vision behind the Scheme is to develop an environmentally friendly means of public transport that is healthy, relatively inexpensive and will ensure an improved quality of life in each of the city’s natural and built environment. Public bike schemes have the potential to enhance the city centres and provide a significant boost to the development of a cycling culture. It also adds to the tourism offering in those cities as well.
It has been 4 years since Dublin bikes launched in Dublin city. It has been a resounding success with over 5 million rentals since its launch and 35,000 long term subscribers. Dublin City Council has reported a 40% increase in numbers cycling in the city over the last four years. I look forward to hearing of similar results when the bike schemes are up and running in Limerick, Cork and Galway.