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Urbo and Bleeberbike were launched today in Dublin. Fennell Photography
Saddle up

Stationless bike hire scheme launched in Dublin with 200 bikes hitting the streets right away

Irish firms Urbo and BleeperBike will operate the scheme.

A NEW STATIONLESS bike scheme has launched in Dublin that will see 200 more rental bikes hit the streets with more coming in the near future.

The scheme is different to the current DublinBikes scheme in that the bikes do not need to be picked up or dropped off at set rental locations.

Instead, bikes must be returned to the metal Sheffield stands that are dotted around the city. Bikes are sourced via an app which unlocks the bike and when it is returned to a Sheffield stand the rental period ends.

Dublin City Council (DCC) has granted licenses to two operators to run the new scheme, Urbo and BleeperBike, and has said that there will be “full interoperability between the two schemes”.

It means that users can sign up to either operator to avail of the scheme. Both firms are Irish-founded.

DCC has said that it is facilitating the rollout of the scheme which will see 200 bikes on the streets immediately and “a gradual increase in the number of bikes over the coming months”.

Last year, the local authority passed bylaws to regulated shared-bike schemes in central Dublin after a troubled launch by BleeperBike.

After these laws were finalised, the council put out an open call for operators to apply for licences to operate a dockless bike scheme.

In the announcement, the council added that the stationless bike hire scheme will eventually expand services to outer suburban areas.

BleeperBike has already launched its service in both the Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown and South Dublin County Council areas.

Full of bike stands Metal Sheffield stands that the bikes can be locked to. DPA / PA Images DPA / PA Images / PA Images

The council has also said that it has increased cycling parking facilities in Dublin with the installation of over 1,300 extra cycle parking spaces installed over the past few months.

These stands can be used either by bike owners or by bike hire users.

Shared-bike schemes have caused problems in China and Australia with the dumping of bikes in places like parks and waterways.

Dublin City Council has said that it is working with both operators to ensure that the same problems do not occur here.

“Facilitating modal shift to more sustainable transport options is a vital element in the council’s traffic management and climate change strategies,” DCC’s Dick Brady said today.

“The provision of low-cost bike share is a valuable additional support these strategies.”

Councillor Ciarán Cuffe described the move as “a good day for Dublin”:

Similar schemes have succeeded in major cities all around the world, and we’re delighted to have them here. The lesson from abroad is that properly regulated bike schemes can make a positive contribution to sustainable transport and mobility.

- With reporting from Kilian Woods of 

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