Thursday, 7 November 2013
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
Public Bike Schemes
239. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will provide an update on the extension of city bikes schemes to other cities outside of Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47470/13]
Work is well advanced within the National Transport Authority on finalising proposals for the roll out of public bikes in regional cities (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 five-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 and I was delighted when it was announced recently 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 has been four 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. I hope to hear similar exciting results from the regional cities over the next few years.