Survey analyses success of bikes scheme


NEARLY TWICE as many users of the Dublin bikes scheme have switched from riding their own bicycles as from driving cars into town, according to a survey of how people are using the highly popular scheme.

Conducted by Hilary Murphy, as part of a master’s degree in sustainable development at Dublin Institute of Technology, the survey sought to find out how many people had switched to dublinbikes from walking, public transport, cars and taxis.

Ms Murphy found that almost two-thirds (63 per cent) of the 251 users she interviewed at eight bike stations at different times of the day had switched from another mode to the shared cycle scheme, while the rest were making new or different journeys.

Of those who had switched from other modes of transport, 41 per cent previously walked, 7 per cent used to cycle their own bikes, 5 per cent took the bus, 4 per cent a train or tram, another 4 per cent left their cars behind while 1 per cent used taxis.

The surprisingly high number switching from their own bikes to the rental scheme may be accounted for by security considerations relating to theft and vandalism, or simply convenience. However, Ms Murphy did not definitively establish the reasons.

According to her survey, almost 70 per cent of new cyclists use dublinbikes to make daily trips to work and college, while the balance are using the scheme for social purposes, leisure and entertainment, as well as to shop and gain access to services.

Of the 37 per cent of users who are making new or different journeys, almost half of these trips are generated by the bikes being available to users. This would indicate that the scheme has increased “door-to-door” mobility.

Dublinbikes has also been used to “join up” public transport routes. Of those using the scheme as a transport link, 17 per cent take the Luas, 14 per cent use buses and 7 per cent use the Dart.