Bike share company Bolt has said that it has reached 5,942 unique users in operating for just one year in Sligo, a town with a population of just 19,400. The figure includes 872 users from overseas, the company said.
Users have clocked up 153,741 kilometres with one cycling 47 kilometres in one trip and another taking 530 trips in a year.
Bolt — which operates in 45 countries and 500 cities across the world — highlighted in a press release this morning that it also operates services in Kilkenny (launched last August), Wexford (last May), and Bray (last month) “to a combined 12,000 users”. Combined users in these locations have taken 115,000 rentals, clocking up 238,000 kilometres.
The company said it is in talks with “several other councils keen to accelerate their active travel services in line with the National Development Plan and the Climate Action Plan.”
But is understood that Bolt and other electric bicycle companies are still struggling to break into the Dublin City market. Dublin City Council has so far refused to remove the need for operators to have bicycles which can be locked to bicycle stands and also has only offered licences to a limited number of operators.
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Dublin City Council has regulated the operation of stationless bicycles heavily to avoid the issues in other cities of bicycles being left blocking footpaths — in London recently it has been claimed that some of this haphazard parking of bikes is down to non-users.
Currently, there are a number of different operators across only parts of Dublin because they are licensed in one but not the other three of the council areas in the capital.
Local Cllr Marie Casserley (pictured above) said: “It’s been such a positive partnership between Sligo County Council and Bolt and the statistics have proven that Sligo is ready to take the lead on a sustainable project such as this. Hopefully, many other local authorities will follow suit.”
She added: It’s equally as beneficial to locals as well as visitors and this has to be a good thing for the community of Sligo.”
Bolt Operations Manager for Rentals in Ireland, John Buckley, said: “We’re thrilled our electric bike service has been so embraced. We’re lucky to have vast experience with micromobility across Europe. It constantly tells us that a high quality, responsible service with affordable pricing will be popular with riders and pedestrians alike.”
He added: “I’m very happy to say Sligo has met and exceeded these expectations.”