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The subscription charge for Dublin Bikes is about to increase...

The subscription fee is set to increase by 50% to €30 over the next two years.

2/7/2014. Dublin City Rental Bicycles Source: Sam Boal

DUBLIN BIKES, THE popular temporary bike rental scheme, is set to increase its subscription fees by €10 over the next two years.

The move, which will see the fees increase initially by €5 to €25 this year before moving to €30 next year, is aimed at alleviating the subsidisation of the service by Dublin City Council (DCC).

DCC could not confirm that such a price increase was in train, however a spokesperson did acknowledge that “there are a number of proposals relating to the scheme and a possible increase in charges is one of these”.

Those proposals will be discussed at the next meeting of DCC’s Planning Strategic Policy Committee next week.

However, Fine Gael councillor Paddy Smyth told TheJournal.ie that the price increases mentioned are accurate.

The scheme has been operating in Dublin city centre since 2009 and has been a great success.

Initially the subscription charge for the service was set at €10 per year. That increased to €20 in 2013. However, that subscription charge, together with advertising, has not been enough to cover all costs, with DCC making up the shortfall.

In 2015 the council paid close to €400,000 towards the scheme. However, the price increase is more than just about costs, it’s about a natural expansion also according to Smyth, a keen advocate for cycling in the city.

“If we want to expand the service out to the suburbs, particularly along the Luas and Dart lines, and I think it should be in place at every station, it’s going to cost a lot of money to do so,” he said.

There’s only so much advertising we can do.

Smyth stresses the fact that a €10 yearly increase equates to “just 2.74 cents per day”.

He also says he’s wholeheartedly in favour of a lower charge for groups such as students and the unemployed.

“I also think we need to link to the leap card,” he said.

I’m heavily in favour of subsidising those using them. Like, if someone’s spending a lot of money on public transport, they should really get a Dublin Bikes subscription for free.

“The scheme has been so successful,” agreed Smyth’s fellow councillor Andrew Montague.

We’ve gone from 500 to 1,500 bikes. Now, we can either stay where we are or we can grow.

“I would love to get it out to Ballymun, Drumcondra, Whitehall – it shouldn’t be just in the city centre,” he said.

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