DCU is set to be included in a planned expansion of the Dublin Bike Scheme. This is part of a plan to treble the amount of available bikes from 500 to 1500. Fifty six new stands will be built to access the bikes, including one on DCU campus.
The expansion is the first phase of a five-year plan to increase the number of bikes to 5000 and the stops to roughly 300. According to DCU Welfare Officer, Neil Patrick Collins, the scheme will not extend to DCU for a few years as the expansion is taking place in 14 phases and DCU is phase 14. The entire expansion will take five years.
The bike scheme will also extend to UCD in the south of the city. The bikes are only found in city centre locations currently.
The bike scheme works by subscribing to either a three-day ticket or a long term one. The first half an hour is free. It was launched in 2007 and since then the bikes have been used 1.7 million times by 70,000 subscribers making it one of the most successful branches of the scheme in Europe. “It will also be good for DCU to be associated with what has been a hugely successful scheme both across Europe and in Ireland”, Collins added.
The scheme was originally funded by the outdoor advertising company JC Decaux in return for advertising space in the city. The expansion will be funded by a €500,000 grant from the National Transport Authority.
DCU is already a participator in the Cycle to Work scheme. This plan was established in January 2009 to encourage more employees to cycle to work by allowing bikes of up to €1000 be tax free under the scheme. The employer pays for the bike and the employee refunds them through a salary arrangement.
Many DCU students currently use bikes as a mode of transport, storing them in the sheds on campus while at lectures. Collins told The College View that “the bike scheme will be extremely successful with students. Cycling is an inexpensive, efficient and environmentally friendly mode of transport, which will perfectly suit students”.
IMAGE CREDIT: infomatique
Aisling Kett is our Deputy News Editor