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DublinBikes nears 8m rentals as it turns 5

People queuing for DublinBikes at rush hour
People queuing for DublinBikes at rush hour

— Almost 14,000 trips taken in one day last week alone

Users of Dublin’s public bicycle share scheme, DublinBikes, have racked up 7,951,866 bicycle rentals in five years.

“September 4th 2014 saw the scheme record its busiest ever day with an incredible 13,614 journeys taken,” a statement from Dublin City Council said today.

The council said that over 2.5 million journeys were taken in the last year alone — the higher numbers is largely down to the near-complete expansion which started in November last year and was due to be completed back in June.

The expansion includes an additional 58 new stations and 950 bikes. The system now has 1,500 bicycles and 100 stations — which leaves just two stations to be opened in the current expansion.

While there’s a perception that Coca-Cola is funding the expansion, it is actually funded by a mix of €5.2m tax payer-funded sustainable transport funding from the National Transport Authority; €900,000 from Dublin City Council’s general budget; increased user charges including a doubling of the annual subscription to €20; and sponsorship from Coca-Cola. The sponsorship deal only cost the company “almost €2m” for three years.

The original stations and bicycles, related systems and on-going running costs were mainly funded in an advertisement space for bicycles deal with JCDecaux, the French advertising company which still runs DublinBikes for the city. That deal also funded a network of tourist way finding signs.

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DublinBikes on day one in 2009

Latest statistics:

  • Current number of stations: 100
  • Current number of bikes: 1,500
  • Long-term members 46,695
  • Short-term members (YTD) 9,395
  • Journeys in 2014 1,760,832
  • Total journeys 7,951,866
  • Percentage of free journeys 95%
  • Average journey time 20 minutes
  • Journeys on busiest day 13,614 on 4th September 2014

Number of journeys taken after:

  • One year 1,101,877
  • Two years 2,529,693
  • Three years 4,032,750
  • Four years 5,290,073
  • Five years 7,951,866

Jim Keogan, executive manager in Dublin City Council’s planning and development department said “The scheme is one of the most popular and successful public bike hire schemes in the world. The expansion has made it easier to meet demand to get a bike and means it now covers a bigger part of the city. Long term membership has increased by about 45% this year which shows that demand is growing all the time.”

Joanne Grant, managing director of JCDecaux Ireland said: “The success of the Coca-Cola Zero dublinbikes and the level of integration into the fabric of Dublin City is a wonderful result for all the work put into the scheme by JCDecaux and Dublin City Council. The combination of street furniture advertising and commercial partnership revenues enables us to operate such a successful scheme providing significant enhancement to the public transport system.”

Jon Woods, general manager, Coca Cola Great Britain and Ireland said “We were delighted to be able to unveil the new Coca-Cola Zero dublinbikes in June this year” — this was when Coca-Cola Zero branding was added to the bicycles, the new bicycles were already coming on stream bit by bit when new stations opened as part of the expansion.

She added: “At Coca-Cola we are passionate about encouraging and enabling active lifestyles. Our commitment to Coca-Cola Zero dublinbikes builds on other measures we are taking to encourage active lifestyles across the country through our support of the regional bike schemes in Cork, Galway and Limerick and through the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund which has granted €375K to non-profit groups taking an innovative approach to help get more people active.”

While Coca-Cola had only been involved with the bike scheme since June of this year, Woods said: “The 5th birthday of Coca-Cola Zero dublinbikes is a milestone we didn’t want to go unmarked. We hope everyone enjoys their saddle cover and reflector belt that we’re giving away today with each bike to mark the celebration.” is reader-funded journalism. That means it's funded by readers like you.

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Cian Ginty

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