THE roll-out of the public bike scheme for Limerick will take place in December, it has been confirmed.
The National Transport Authority has announced that the Coca-Cola Zero Bikes regional scheme will ‘go live’ on December 8 in Limerick.
The scheme, which was officially launched by Minister Alan Kelly in July, will see 215 bikes being made available for public rental at 23 docking stations across the city centre.
Difficulties appointing a contractor to install the docking stations had delayed the project by several months.
The public-bike scheme, which is similar to the scheme already in operation in Dublin, is being jointly funded by the Department of Transport and Coca-Cola Ireland.
The soft drinks company has agreed a sponsorship deal worth around €3m which will see the “Coke Zero” brand emblazoned on both the bikes and the docking stations in Limerick Cork and Galway.
It is estimated the public-bike scheme which will cost around €1.25m a year to operate.
Similar to the scheme in Dublin, users in Limerick will have to make a one-off annual payment.
Once payment has been made, registered users can then use the bikes for free for up to a half an hour with rental charges applying for longer journeys.
For the initial roll out, docking stations will be located in the city centre with locations including Roches Street, Johns Square, Pery Square, O’Connell Avenue, Clancy Strand, Bank Place and Bedford Row.
Users will be able to take bikes from any of the docking stations before leaving them at the station nearest the end of their journey.
Subject to public demand, it is expected that once the public bike scheme is up and running, it will be expanded to include other parts of the city such as Moylish, the Ennis Road and Dooradoyle.
The NTA said it was requesting people in Limerick to pre-register now on Bikeshare.ie so that the bikes can be availed of as soon as they are live on the streets.
Customers who pre-register will also get a 50% discount, receiving a special offer of €5 for annual subscription. This special offer extends to the end of the year. When a customer registers for an annual subscription, they will receive a Welcome Pack in the post containing details of the scheme and a subscription card.
Gerry Murphy, CEO of the National Transport Authority said bikes will be an “exciting new addition for business and recreational users alike”.
“We urge anyone interested in using the bikes in any of the three cities to take advantage of the special 50% discount offer by registering now,” he added.