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One millionth Dublin Bikes journey expected


Demand on the Dublin Bikes scheme is proving so overwhelming Dublin City Council and partners JCDecaux are secretive on the number of subscribers at the same time as announcing the expected one millionth journey.

On street-bicycle rental system Dublin Bikes is expected to hit a milestone of its one millionth journey this weekend. Launched just under a year ago, the council is calling the scheme “massively successful.”

However, at the same time, the council would only say that there are more than 30,000 subscribers, a figure already announced in April when it said there were 21,134 long-term and 10,098 short-term subscribers.

When asked about the subscriber number of over 37,300 published by The Irish Times on Monday last, a council spokesman said to use that figure. However, a short time afterwards we were contacted and told that JCDecaux had just confirmed the figure was only “in and around 30,000.”

Capacity issues are already causing problems for the bikes scheme, and growing popularity is unlikely to help.

A previously announced expansion of the scheme is now expected in “the coming weeks” it was said today.

The council also said this afternoon that, “As of today, more than 990,000 individual journeys have been taken on a dublinbike, so if you like the idea of being the one millionth user, then get out there and get cycling.”

Today’s statement shows that over 433,500 journeys were made in just four months – the last total  journey number released was 556,497 for up to April 18.

Widespread speculation that most of the bicycles would end up in the city’s rivers and canals or stolen have proven to be wrong with little or no vandalism noted and only one bike gone missing.

The expansion is aimed to solve capacity issues before any expansion of the scheme in area. Extra bicycles will be added to the system bring the number of bikes from 450 to 550.

Around 300 new bike stands will increase the system-wide station capacity to 1,087 stands. While four new stations will be installed at Smithfield, Eccles Street, Harcourt Terrace, and Charlemont Mall, bring the total number of stations to 44.

The bike scheme was launched by Dublin City Council less than a year ago on Sunday September 13, 2009. It is run by advertising company JCDecaux, in deal which the company runs the bike scheme in exchange for on-street advertising. A number of city councillors are continuing to question the use of street adverts to fund the bicycles.

A wayfinding system which was also to be paid for as part of the deal is currently being installed on Dublin streets. It includes twenty map panels and eighty fingerpost signs. The polls for these can currently be seen across the city in green covers. The signs are to replace the current brown “fingerpost” signs.

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Cian Ginty

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