Press release from the Department of Transport:
MINISTER KELLY LAUNCHES ‘COKE ZERO BIKES’ THE BIKE SHARE SCHEME FOR CORK, LIMERICK & GALWAY
Coca-Cola Ireland Selected as partner for the Schemes
‘A breakthrough day for cycling in Ireland’
Public Transport Minister, Alan Kelly has today announced details of new bike-share schemes for the cities of Cork, Limerick and Galway.
The schemes, which will be the first of their kind in the cities, will allow potential cyclists to use bikes for either free or at a low cost and take/leave them at various docking stations throughout the cities. The roll out of the schemes is being made possible following an agreement by Coca-Cola Ireland to partner with the Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport, the NTA and the Cities of Cork, Galway and Limerick on this important initiative which will be operational in July 2014.
The schemes will be carried out by the National Transport Authority (NTA) in partnership with Coca-Cola Ireland and will be known as ‘Coke Zero Bikes’.
Detailing the announcement, Minister Alan Kelly said: “This is a breakthrough day for cycling in Ireland. Cork, Galway & Limerick will be joining the likes of Paris, London, Barcelona and Dublin as the cities which have their own public-bike schemes. Over the three cities 700 bikes will be available for hire with 73 docking stations at various trip-attracting points throughout the cities. We would estimate that an additional 700,000 cycling trips will be taken per annum because of this scheme. This project has been over two years in the making. Having held the first bike symposiums in the cities mentioned to explore the possibilities of putting such a scheme together, it is an amazing achievement to see it pay off and a private sector partner for the schemes secured,”
The news follows a commitment in the programme for Government to examine the feasibility of such projects similar to the Dublin bike schemes in other cities. A competitive tender to seek a partner for the scheme was initiated by the NTA in November 2012. Four companies entered the bidding process with Coca-Cola Ireland being the successful partner.
“The only way this scheme could work was if there was a private sector partner to support it. Therefore I am delighted to announce that Coca-Cola Ireland will be the partner for the scheme. Now we will have one of the world’s best marketing companies, not only investing financially in the scheme but also actively engaged in cycling promotion and provision in Ireland. It is a major achievement, we had to think of an innovative way to make such a scheme attractive to a company such as Coca-Cola and I’m glad we did. Cycling has grown in Dublin by 40% since the advent of their bike scheme and it would be great to have similar results in Cork, Limerick and Galway, ” added Minister Kelly.
Gerry Murphy, Chief Executive of the National Transport Authority speaking at the launch said: “The local authorities in the cities of Cork, Galway and Limerick are actively pursuing cycling and public transport improvements. We are delighted that, with the assistance of Coca-Cola Ireland’s partnership, the public bike schemes will soon be available in these cities and we believe these schemes will be as successful as the bike scheme in Dublin”.
Speaking at the announcement, Jon Woods, General Manager of Coca-Cola Great Britain & Ireland said: “The Coca-Cola Company has a proud tradition of providing support for programmes and initiatives that help to promote healthy and active lifestyles in all the countries where we operate. We are delighted to add to these through the Coke Zero Bikes in Cork, Limerick and Galway. We look forward to working with our partners; the NTA, Minister Kelly and the three cities to encourage people to become more active by using the bikes in their cities. Our aim is to help create a culture of cycling and to help have a positive impact on people’s lives.”
Of the 700 bikes that will be available for hire, 315 are in Cork, 200 are in Limerick and 185 will be in Galway. There will be 31 docking stations in Cork, 23 stations in Limerick and 19 stations in Galway.
The overall cost of the scheme is approximately €4million capital investment with €900,000 per year operating costs. Through the partnership agreement Coca-Cola Ireland will be investing €3m over five years in the scheme. The capital investment will be provided through the NTA. Coca-Cola Ireland has agreed with the NTA that the scheme will be named ‘Coke Zero Bikes’ – this branding will appear on bikes and associated infrastructure.
The NTA are currently in the process of competitive tendering for companies to supply, install and maintain the bikes as part of the scheme. The tender process is expected to be completed by December 2013. The bike schemes are set to become operational in summer of next year.
“This is another major step towards creating a cycling culture in Ireland. In conjunction with this scheme, both my Department and the National Transport Authority will be investing a combined €12 million in cycling and other sustainable transport measures across the three cities each year. Ireland is gradually becoming a cycling country with huge public benefits and long may this continue,” concluded Minister Kelly.