ESB Group is to launch 14 “eHubs” with electric bicycles available to the public to hire for the day rather then on a short-term basis.
The pilot hub system will be small-scale at first with just 8 bicycles at each of the 14 docking stations, amounting to 112 across Dublin’s four local authority areas.
In the last few days, a number of IrishCycle.com readers spotted different docking stations which will form a central part of the hubs.
At this stage it doesn’t seem like electric cargo bicycle rental is involved — although, it’s unclear what, if any other, services will be offered at the hub.
More details of the system are expected to be announced soon, but details provided to resident associations show that there will be a rate of €10 for unlimited day trips with rentals lasting up to midnight. A €20 deposit is required for day rate users.
There will also be a monthly rate of €40 with the first days trips and €5 per days for the month after that. With a €30 fee for rentals that go beyond midnight. No deposit will be required for monthly rate users.
Unlike most bicycle rental systems, the user of the ESB eBikes are expected to be able to keep the bike for the day for a set fee and return the bicycle to the hub when finished use.
The pilot scheme is part of an EU Interreg-funded cross-country programme of “Smart Shared Green Mobility Hubs”, which also includes other pilots in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France and the UK.
Locations of the hubs in Dublin are to include Sandyford, Yellow Walls, Dun Laoghaire (Dart station), Finglas, Tallaght, Swords, Rathfarnham, Crown Plaza Hotel Blanchardstown, Park West Business Campus, Crowne Plaza Hotel Dublin Airport, Walkinstown, Howth, Maldron Hotel at Newlands Cross and Malahide.
The ESB said: “ESB eBikes will be coordinated by ESB with operational support from mobility solution providers, Bleeper and Moby. Bleeper and Moby have both delivered successful bike rental schemes in the city in recent years and ESB is using their unique expertise and experience to ensure ESB eBikes offers an accessible, affordable, and sustainable transport solution for Dublin commuters.”
“ESB has also been working closely with all four Dublin local authorities to determine the optimum location of the eHubs to suit commuter needs. After these consultations, all 14 locations have now been finalised,” they said.
The ESB added: “The scheme is aimed at commuters travelling from the outskirts of Dublin city and beyond who would normally drive to the city centre. Therefore, ESB will locate the eHUBS on the main commuter routes into Dublin where congestion is high to incentivise car users to switch to the scheme. The locations have also been chosen to ensure they link effectively with other transport methods and with the best cycling infrastructure available in Dublin. When launched, commuters can rent an eBike from a charging station for a day, travel into the city and return the eBike to the same charging station later that day.”