An expansion of Dublin’s on-street bicycle rental system, DublinBikes, has led to a boom in use of the system, which has now reached the 10 million trips.
Three million journeys were undertaken in last nine months, Dublin City Council said today.
DublinBikes reached 50,000 yearly subscribers on its 5th birthday last September and this has now increased by 3,484 subscribers. Each of the near 53,500 subscribers pay is now €20 per year and usage charges if they hire a bicycle for longer than a half hour at a time.
Those users have take 981,746 trips in less than the first four months of this year.
The system’s expansion, which was completed last year, more than doubled the number of stations to 101 and increased the number of bicycles to 1,500. The network of bike stations, however, remains confined to a relatively small area of about 7km squared.
DublinBikes stations are limited to areas inside Dublin’s canals, where bicycle traffic jumped 22.5% in the last year — which is viewed to be closely linked to the expansion, but also continues an ongoing increase in cycling in the city.
The busiest day ever to-date for DublinBikes remains October 2, 2014, when 15,441 journeys were taken.
DublinBikes is sponsored by Coca-Cola, as is the case with all of the public bicycle systems on the island of Ireland — including the schemes which opened in Cork, Limerick and Galway last year, and a system in Belfast, which had a soft launch yesterday.
The 10 millionth DublinBikes journey was made this week by Mairéad Roche (pictured above) who hired a bicycle at the docking station at Inchicore station near Kilmainham Gaol. Coca-Cola Ireland presented her with a gift of a cycling holiday to France.
Marking the milestone this morning, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Paschal Donohoe TD, said: “The attraction of the Coca-Cola Zero DublinBikes scheme is evident in the diversity of people that can be seen using them across the city; from students to business people, the bikes offer a convenient and cost effective way of getting around.”
He added: “Dublin is perfectly suited to cycling as a means of transportation and I was delighted last week to see that the NTA’s Canal Cordon report outlined that cycling has continued its steady trend of increasing usage, with the number of cycling trips crossing the Cordon exceeding 10,000 for the first time. This is more than double that of 2006.”
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Dublin City Council manager Owen Keegan said: “Passing 10 million journeys in little over five years is an amazing achievement and shows what an excellent decision it was to provide the service originally and to then expand it. I would like to congratulate everybody involved, especially the scheme’s members who have done so much to make it the success story it has become.”
Keegan said: “Coca-Cola Zero DublinBikes has played a significant role in the growth of cycling in the capital as it has provided an accessible option for many people who wanted to cycle but did not have access to a bike in the city.”
Jennifer Heaphy, head of public affairs and communications for Coca-Cola Ireland, said: “We are proud to have supported the expansion of the scheme. Our partnership with DublinBikes builds on our commitment to encourage active healthy lifestyles and through our investments in the regional bike schemes in Galway, Limerick and Cork, and more recently in Belfast, we are working to help create a culture of cycling across the island of Ireland.”
DublinBikes is run by JCDecaux on behalf of the city. The original system was funded by swapping the 15-year rights to on-street advertising spaces in return for the bicycles and a wayfinding system of signs mainly aimed at tourists and visitors to central Dublin. The expansion was funded by a mix of subscription fees, usage fees, grant funding from the National Transport Authority, and sponsorship from Coca-Cola.
Dublin City Council puts the trend in an increase in the numbers of people cycling in Dublin down to a number of factors including: DublinBikes; the opening of Dublin Port Tunnel in 2007 which was introduced with city centre truck restrictions which removed large volumes of trucks from city streets; and the expansion of cycling facilities such as the Grand Canal cycle route.
In statement today, the council highlighted how it has just finished its first round of public consultation on a new off-road cycleway along the Liffey Quays, called the Liffey Cycle Route. It said that the council’s opinion is that such routes “give commuters greater choice in deciding how they want to travel around Dublin”.
Number of Coca-Cola Zero dublinbikes 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
IMAGES: By Jason Clarke Photography for DublinBikes / Dublin City Council; other images by IrishCycle.com