Dublinbikes: a runaway cycling success in the capital

Since it was set up in 2009, 13.5m trips have been made using the Dublin bike scheme

In excess of 4.5 million journeys were taken on city bikes across the State last year. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

In excess of 4.5 million journeys were taken on city bikes across the State last year. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

 

When a city bike scheme was first mooted for Dublin many people assumed the system would never work as the bikes would end up dumped in canals after being stolen. The naysayers were proved wrong and the scheme has been a runaway success, with similar schemes set up in Cork, Galway, Limerick and Belfast.

In excess of 4.5 million journeys were taken on city bikes across the State last year and more than 75,000 people have subscribed to city bike initiatives since the first one was implemented in 2009.

According to Owen Keegan, chief executive of Dublin City Council, 13.5 million trips have been made in Dublin since the scheme started seven years ago. Last year 4.1 million trips were made in Dublin, while Cork recorded almost 290,000 trips. There were more than 143,000 trips in Belfast, just over 40,000 in Limerick and around 20,000 in Galway.

On one day alone last year in Dublin – October 8th – 17,222 journeys were recorded.

The scheme is substantially more popular in Dublin than elsewhere in the State, largely as a result of greater familiarity. But that is not the only reason. Dublin’s city centre is also considerably flatter than Cork’s, which means cyclists are less likely to have to break a sweat while going from A to B. It is also substantially drier than Galway, where it rains on two out of every three days.

It costs almost €2 million to operate the scheme each year. It is funded through a combination of annual memberships, short-term memberships, journey usage fees and corporate sponsorship worth around €300,000 each year.

An annual membership card for the scheme is €20 and a three-day ticket costs €5.