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Thursday 23 November 2017

After the bikes, city plans club for electric cars

PLEA: Innovative sharing scheme would cut jams

drivers could soon have a reason to leave their cars at home as the city council is putting the wheels in motion for a city centre electric car club.

It would involve a public car sharing arrangement.

The initiative, which would be run in a similar fashion to the hugely successful Dublin Bikes Scheme, would see Dublin get a supply of electric cars for public use.

The system would be modelled on the one in London where cars can be booked online and members use a swipe card to get the car keys.

However, proposers of the initiative for Dublin are hoping that the scheme here will be more environmentally friendly and use electric cars rather than the petrol cars used in Britain.



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Fine Gael councillor Eoghan Murphy proposed the idea at a special sitting of Dublin City Council on Monday.

"This is going to operate very much like Dublin Bikes where people have an annual subscription so that they can get access to cars as and when they need it. If you look at the scheme in the UK, it has resulted in a 70pc decrease in car use so there are obvious benefits regarding the environment and less congestion," Cllr Murphy said.

He went on to say that since he put the car club proposal on the city council agenda, he had been approached by companies who are interested in running the scheme, including GoCar Ireland who currently operate a pilot scheme in Cork.

Cllr Murphy's Fine Gael colleague Gerry Breen said that he had witnessed a demonstration of the scheme being piloted by Cork City Council.

He described it as "innovative" and said that it represented a "great use of technology and mobile phones".



However, some members of the city council expressed concerns about the initiative.

Labour Party councillor Mary Freehill told the chamber: "I think we have to be clear that our job as a council is looking after public transport and we currently have a public transport system that is very poorly integrated.

"I wouldn't be in agreement with supporting this without finding out more.

"I'm not sure if it's the direction we want to go in."

City managers said that they had been looking at the idea of car clubs for the past four years.

Councillors agreed last night to develop the idea of a car club for Dublin. However, the project is still in the early stages.



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The council's transport committee will now work on the issue before approaching the Government to bring in legislation so that car club parking bays can be brought in to the city.

The Department of Communications, Energy and Resources is also to be approached with a view to incentivising the use of electric cars in the scheme through free or reduced energy points in parking bays.

Motoring: Page 58

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