PRIVATE sector interest in being sought to replicate the success of Dublin’s public bike scheme on the streets of Limerick.
Minister for Public Transport Alan Kelly is adamant that “public bike schemes can work in the cities outside Dublin”.
The North Tipperary TD said the National Transport Authority was now beginning a formal process looking for the private sector to sponsor such a scheme in Limerick, Cork, Galway and Waterford - in return for advertising and other rights.
“I am quite hopeful that companies will apply and hopefully we can have shared bikes up and running next year. A series of symposia were organised last year to test private sector interest in the scheme and this process is progressing now,” stated Minister Kelly.
The winning company would get naming rights to the scheme itself and could advertise on the bikes and bike stands around the city.
Advertising firm JC Decaux funds the successful public bike scheme in Dublin in return for advertising space in the city. In the capital, the system is accessed with a card and offers 30 minutes of free bike usage around the city as long as it is returned to a designated stand. It costs €2 for a three-day membership and just €10 year-round for members.
Despite concerns it would be widely abused, the scheme has proven a hit with Dubliners and visitors to the capital.
“DublinBikes is one of the most successful schemes in the world with over 3.5 million journeys taken already,” said Minister Kelly.
“Getting a scheme up and running in the regional cities would represent a major breakthrough for cycling in this country,” he added.
The deadline for expressions of interest is December 18.