UPDATED: Junior minister for transport Alan Kelly has confirmed that the Coke Zero bike share will be delayed until at least August.
ORIGINAL STORY: It is looking unlikely that the regional public bike share systems in Cork, Limerick, and Galway will be open by July as expected. The schemes are to carry the Coke Zero Bikes brand.
The Department of Transport said last year that the schemes “will be operational in July 2014”.
However, the National Transport Authority, which is heading the project, this week confirmed to IrishCycle.com that it only expects a deal on the supply and operation of the schemes to be finalised later this month and construction will only follow after that deal is in place.
That construction is likely to take months to complete — no official estimate was given.
“It is expected that the contract for the supply and operation of the bike schemes in the regional cities (Cork, Limerick, Galway) will be awarded later this month and that construction will get under way shortly thereafter,” said Sara Morris, a spokeswoman for NTA.
This week the NTA did not respond to a request on when the scheme is expected to be up and running.
The project is expected to include a total of 700 bikes and 73 docking stations. Cork is due to have 315 bikes and 31 docking stations; Limerick is expected to get 200 bikes and 23 stations; and Galway is to get 185 bikes and 19 stations.
DublinBikes to date has been the only surviving on-street bike share scheme in Ireland. A scheme on the campus of NUI Galway for staff and students called Spin bikes was closed in November after the UK company behind it, Scheme Bike Share Ltd, went into liquidation.