Bleeperbike, the “stationless” bike rental scheme, which began operating in Dún Laoghaire two years ago, is to withdraw its bikes from the area this week, it has emerged.
Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council has confirmed the company, which was awarded a contract to run the service on a permanent basis just last month following a two-year pilot scheme, will no longer operate the hire service from Friday.
Unlike the Dublin Bikes hire scheme, which operates in the city and requires bikes to be collected and returned to "stations", Bleeperbike allows users to locate and unlock bikes using their smart phone, and return them to any designated parking location.
Bleeperbike began operating in Dún Laoghaire in October 2017 and expanded into Dublin city last year. Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown council last month announced it had awarded a permanent licence to the company. However, in a letter to councillors on Tuesday the council said the company was not taking up its licence and was withdrawing the service.
“We regret to announce that Bleeperbike Ireland has decided not to continue with the operation of a stationless bike share scheme in the county and have decided not to take up the offer of a licence to operate such a scheme.”
The council said the company informed it of this decision last week “with no indication provided up to this date that they were not going to proceed”.
The company will remove its bikes on Friday “and then cease operations in the county”, the council said.
“It is now our intention to issue a further invite to potential operators to run such a scheme in the county,” it said.
Fianna Fáil councillor Cormac Devlin said the move would "come as a surprise to many users" of the bikes.
“The Bleeperbike pilot scheme was very popular with the public in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown. It is very disappointing the company have decided to withdraw their services.”
A stationless sharing scheme for the whole of Dublin should be established, he said.
Bleeperbike did not respond to requests for comment.
Dublin City Council said the company was continuing to operate as normal in its area. "It is anticipated that the service in Dublin city will expand even further in 2020," a spokeswoman for the council said.