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Waterford finally gets bicycle share, TD says cycle paths also needed

— Cork, Limerick and Galway revamp underway.

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A local TD has welcomed the start of the construction of bicycle share docking stations in Waterford, and said that the city needs the safe and segregated cycle routes to go with it.

The city is to get 14 docking stations for the National Transport Authority’s regional bicycle system already in use in Cork, Galway and Limerick.

The regional bicycle share system in the three cities has had a few troubled years, starting before Covid. The NTA claimed bicycle share usage fell due to users switching to buses, but users said that the system was in disrepair with poor maintenance of its bicycles and issues with docking stations.

The main source of the problems with the bicycles and docking stations is understood to be related to issues between the consortium which won the contract to run the systems for the NTA.

A roll-out of the revamped system with redesigned bicycles is currently underway. The bikes, which were originally launched in 2014, are being rebranded as TFI (Transport For Ireland) bicycles, the same branding used on publicly funded bus services regardless of operator.

It is unclear yet when the Waterford system will open, but subscriptions to the system are likely to follow the cost in other cities — €10 per year per city, or €3 for a three-day pass. The first half-hour use is free and the rental cost after that is listed below.

Local Green Party TD, Marc Ó Cathasaigh, said: “The launch of the bike share scheme in Waterford may be a case of ‘long threatening comes at last but it’s very welcome to see the rollout finally being delivered.

He said: “I’m glad to see lesson learned from the previous schemes in Limerick and Cork, and we’re seeing a better quality bike put in place now across those three cities.”

“Our city in Waterford is ideally suited in terms of size to see a significant modal shift to active transport modes in the coming decade — we are essentially already a 15 minute city. We’re building on the success of the Greenway as well as outstanding public realm in the city’s ancient core. This coupled with Waterford’s 2040 Vision, to become Ireland’s first decarbonised city, means the winds of change are blowing in the right direction,” said Deputy Ó Cathasaigh .

He added: “We need now to provide the safe, segregated infrastructure to underpin both the bike share scheme and the broader modal shift, to make cycling a safe and sustainable choice for people from 8 to 80.”

Cost per trip
Trips are free for the first half-hour, 50 cent for up to one hour, €1.50 for up to two hours, €3.50 for up to three hours, €6.50 for up to four hours and €2 every extra half hour after four hours to disincentivise longer-term rentals and keep bicycles in circulation.

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Cian Ginty
Editor, IrishCycle.com

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