Four shared mobility hubs, with electric cars, bicycles and cargo bicycles, are to be rolled out in Dublin, Galway, Sligo, and Donegal.
The research project is a partnership with Trinity College Dublin, Atlantic Technological University, the ESB and Enterprise Rent-A-Car, with help from Sligo County Council, Galway County and City Councils and the Northern and Western Regional Assembly, and other partners also yet to be confirmed.
The hubs are funded to the tune of €1.35 million, including almost €850,000 of Government funding provided by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland.
Professor Brian Caulfield, Professor in Transportation at the Centre for Transport Research in Trinity, who is leading the project, told this website that the hubs are planned to be positioned in prominent locations in each area.
“From a research perspective, the main questions that we’ll be asking in this research is how mobility hubs can operate at various locations around Ireland. The international research shows that these types of mobility hubs can provide an effective transport solution that lowers emissions and improves accessibility for all,” said Caulfield.
He said: “One of the key questions we will consider is how these hubs work in both urban and non-urban areas across the country. What are the levels of usage, are they economically viable and finally of course how they can potentially be part of reducing our emissions profile and transport. Last week we saw that emissions in transport were up 6% on the previous year so pilots like this project should give us insights in how to reduce our missions.”
He said that the number of electric bicycles and cargo bikes per site has yet to be fully finalised and determining such is to be one of the next steps.
Caulfield added: “This is a massively ambitious project that will for the first time provide us with evidence on how different parts of our country may adopt shared electric mobility. The ambition of the project is large, because the challenge is also large; by the end of the decade, we need to decarbonise our transport sector by 50%. It is by learning from pilots like those planned in our project that we can provide evidence on how investment in shared mobility can be part of the solution in reaching this 50% reduction in emissions.”