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A trial bicycle-share scheme is to be introduced in the Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council area early next month.
A total of 100 “BleeperBikes” will be deployed as part of the project with 40 being rolled out initially at various locations.
In the east of the council’s administrative area 20 bikes will initially be available from “non-docking stations” at Dún Laoghaire Town (the Lexicon library), Blackrock, Dalkey, Shankill, Deansgrange and Killiney Dart station.
A further 20 bikes will be deployed at Cabinteely, Dundrum , Stillorgan, Sandyford and Stepaside and Meadowbrook Leisure Centre.
Senior council engineer Gerry Flaherty told councillors the bike scheme would be operated by BleeperBike, which currently operates schemes in locations covered by South Dublin County Council as well as DCU and UCD.
Dublin City Council removed BleeperBikes from the city streets this summer when the service started there. It said it had received “many complaints” about BleeperBikes, the deployment of which was “premature” in the absence of new rules involving a licensing scheme for operators.
Dublin City Council operates its own bike-share scheme, Dublin Bikes on the city streets which is sponsored by the online takeaway business Just Eat.
Public bicycle rental schemes, now operate in Belfast, Cork, Galway and Limerick. In Dublin nearly 13,000 journeys are made by bike each day, a factor which reduces car use, carbon emissions and air pollution.
The Dublin Bikes scheme cost €1.9 million a year to run, with subscriptions and usage charges coming to €1.2 million. The remainder is made up from sponsorship, advertising signs and a council subsidy.
BleeperBike is a service similar to the Dublin Bikes scheme but operating without dedicated bike stations. Instead it operates on a smartphone and GPS system which allows potential users to check for an available bike near them.
Demerit points are applied to the accounts of those who do not leave bikes back in designated bike racks.
News of the scheme being trialled was welcomed by Dún-Laoghaire Rathdown councillor Cormac Devlin, who said it was “not only a very environmentally friendly and sustainable form of transport but it is a scheme that has proven to be popular right across the globe”.
Membership to the scheme can be paid for on an annual or quarterly basis with fees charged on an hourly rate which includes up to four free trips per day.