Bikeshare.ie, the on-street public bicycle sharing system, was launched in Galway this morning. It should be followed by the opening of schemes in Limerick on December 8, and in Cork on December 18.
The Galway bikes scheme will have 195 bicycles for rent at 19 docking stations across Galway city centre.
Users will pay €10 per year per city (€5 for the first year is they subscribe before the new year), and bicycles will be free to rent for the first half hour. Users will be able to subscribe all three cities using the one card but they will pay per city. Three-day passes will be €3 per city.
|First ½ hour
|Up to 1 hour
|Up to 2 hours
|Up to 3 hours
|Up to 4 hours
|Every extra ½ hour
Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe launched the system this morning. Minister Donohoe said: “The launch of the Coca-Cola Zero Bikes scheme today in Galway is exciting for the city and for those who have been awaiting the roll-out of the initiative beyond Dublin. The success of this scheme in the capital has been remarkable, with a recent doubling of the number of stations and a trebling of the number of bikes to meet demand.”
Here’s the minister pictured second from the right launching the bikes in Eyre Square in the centre of Galway:
— Paschal Donohoe (@Paschald) November 24, 2014
The regional schemes, when complete, will amount to 730 bikes available for hire; 195 in Galway, 215 in Limerick and 320 in Cork. The department said that it is anticipated that each bike will be used three times per day on average, generating over 750,000 trips in the scheme’s first year of operation.
The minister added: “Through the NTA, my Department has provided funding of €5.1 million for the three regional schemes, and depending on their success, we will be looking at extending to other cities in the future.”
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The department said that close to €3 million was allocated last year under the Regional Cities Programme to promote cycling, walking and increased use of public transport. Funding the installation and upgrading of cycle parking at Bearna, Moycullen, Oranmore and Clare-Galway; a network of signed cycle routes for the Galway Metropolitan Area; and progress on the Threadneedle Road Cycleway, the Bearna Greenway and the Tuam Road/Joyce Road Junction.
The bike rental system is branded branded “Coca-Cola Zero Bikes”, although Coca-Cola only part-fund the system, with the tax payer and users also contributing towards costs.
Some of the bicycles were in place over the weekend, with the sight of them already being well-received:
Galway Bikes are nearly go! x CM pic.twitter.com/OBF3iP54Nh
— TMCM_Ireland (@TMCM_Ireland) November 23, 2014
Work on bicycle docking stations was on-going late last week, with some stations ready to go for a few days:
— GalwayCycling.org (@GalwayCycling) November 21, 2014
There has been public criticism of the lack of docking stations outside the city centre area:
— Denzo (@DenzoQuinlan) November 24, 2014
This issue was made more acute by councillors getting one large, partly-constructed station removed from a street outside NUI Galway. Read more on that in our previous report.