Call to expand Dublin bike scheme
Dublin City Council has been urged to make the capital's hugely successful bike hire scheme ten times bigger.
Councillors want the number of bicycles to be increased from 450 to 5,000 with new pick-up and drop-off points in districts outside the canal boundaries, north and south.
The massive expansion plan would see 300 bike hire points with the first at Heuston Station and the Docklands followed by later developments in Inchicore, DCU and Clonskeagh.
Andrew Montague, Labour councillor, was one of the original backers of the scheme and proposed the idea to the council in 2004.
"I have been calling for an expansion of the scheme since its successful launch last year," Mr Montague said. "I'm delighted to see that the council recognises the value of the bikes and is prepared to invest in this new form of public transport."
The huge investment could also run side by side with a 10-year plan to increase the number of public bike parking stands tenfold to 10,000.
The City Council said the plan was passed by the transport and traffic committee which comprises ten councillors and five people from outside the council. It will also be voted on by the planning and economic committee later this month.
If the plan passes all stages it will go before the council on December 6 with a target date of 2011 for the expansion.
The Dublin bike scheme is the most successful of its kind in the world. In October it had clocked 47,000 subscriptions, 1.25 million journeys and on October 12, its busiest day to date, more than 5,861 journeys were taken on the bikes.
The average trip is 16 minutes and 95% are free.