Northern Ireland’s first on-street public bicycle rental system — Belfast Bikes — has opened to commuters this morning. Some of those expressing quite some excitement as Belfast wakes up on its first day with bike share open to all residents and visitors:
(article continues below tweets)
— David Meade (@DavidMeadeLive) April 27, 2015
— Siobhán (@daisybella17) April 27, 2015
Belfast follows the roll out of bicycle share in UK cities such as London and Glasgow, while it is the fifth public scheme on the island of Ireland, all of which are sponsored by the soft drink company Coca-Cola. DublinBikes hit a milestone of 10 million trips last week.
Users of the bikes in Belfast will have 300 bikes at 30 docking stations across the city centre.
You can sign up at belfastbikes.co.uk. At £20 per year, a subscription is a bit more expensive than Dublin’s €20 fee, which is for access to 1,500 bicycles across 101 stations. For tourists and others without annual subscription, a three-day fee is £5.
Like most on-street bike share systems, the first half hour of use is free and for ever hour after after the price accelerates, to encourage short-term use (full price list pictured below).
The Belfast scheme will be run by Nextbike who operate bike share in locations such as Glasgow, Bath, Budapest, Dubai, and in over 30 Germany cities.
Here’s a video of the preview day event yesterday:
(article continues below video and image)
Some of the same issues of discussion which happened in Dublin, are already popping up in Belfast — such as the system being limited to the city centre and a debate around the lack of helmets
Intriguing to watch early Belfast Bikes commentary on helmets, shaping up to be the first point of attack when initial glow fades
— NI Greenways (@nigreenways) April 26, 2015
— Niall Ó Donnghaile (@NiallSF) April 26, 2015
Those looking for helmets to be mandatory were given a word-of-warning from Melbourne on Saturday:
— St Etienne (@BicycleAdagio) April 25, 2015
Subscription drive update: IrishCycle.com reached its target of 270 subscribers by the end of August -- thank you to all who have helped! Our new target is to have 300 subscribers by the end of 2022 -- originally this was hoped to be exceeded by the first year of running the site full time (end of October).
If you can help push IrishCycle.com above 300 subscribers, please subscribe today for €5 or more. If you have already done so -- thank you!
Please remember, every month there's a natural drop-off in subscriptions due to people getting new cards, cards stolen, Revolut not topped up etc.
IrishCycle.com is a reader-funded journalism publication. Effectively it's an online newspaper covering news and analyses of cycling and related issues, including cycle route designs, legal changes, and pollical and cultural issues.
There are examples, big and small, which show that the reader-funded or listener-funding model can work to support journalism -- from the Dublin Inquirer and The Guardian to many podcasts. To make it work for IrishCycle.com, it just needs enough people like you to believe!
Monthly subscriptions will give IrishCycle.com's journalism a dependable base of support. But please don't take free access for granted. Last year IrishCycle.com had an average of 15,800 readers per month and we know our readers include people who cycle and those who don't, politicians, officials and campaigners.
I know only a small percentage of readers will see the value of keeping this open enough to subscribe, that's the reality of the reader-funded model. But more support is needed to keep this show on the road.
The funding drive was started in November 2021 and, as of the start of June 2022, 250 readers have kindly become monthly subscribers -- thank you very much to all that have!
But currently, it's only around 1.6% of readers who subscribe. So, if you can, please join them and subscribe today via ko-fi.com/irishcycle/tiers