Saturday 23 February 2019

Fingal residents get on their bikes with 'stationless' sharing scheme

Councillors at the launch of the BleeperBike scheme
Councillors at the launch of the BleeperBike scheme

Leaving the car at home and hopping on your bike may soon become a lot easier for Fingal residents, with the launch of a free 'smart' bike-sharing scheme.

As part of a pilot scheme, a total of 50 bikes are to be made available in Dublin 15 - with the hope of extending it to other areas of Fingal in the future.

Cyclists can activate the smart bike after they have downloaded the BleeperBike app on to their phones.

This allows them to rent a BleeperBike from designated bike racks throughout the Dublin 15 area for an hour.

The 'stationless' scheme means people will not have to worry about finding another smart bike rack during their travels, as they can lock it up manually at any bike stand.

Once they do that, however, the bike becomes available to other BleeperBike cyclists - unless they choose the PitStop option in the app, which incurs an 80c charge.

Bikes can be picked up by cyclists when they register on the app, which will then locate their nearest bike through a GPS system.

They then simply scan the code on their phone from the bike to unlock it for use.

The bikes will be tested out by the public at the Flavours of Fingal County Show, which will take place in Newbridge Demesne this weekend.

Mayor of Fingal Anthony Lavin told the Herald he hopes that if the pilot scheme is successful it will be expanded throughout the county.

"There will be 50 bikes to start with and hopefully we will look at expanding it into other areas such as Howth and Portmarnock," he said.

He felt it would help people to choose a cleaner, greener mode of transport and also encourage a healthy lifestyle.

"Initiatives such as this one create an incentive for people to cycle rather than drive, which will decrease traffic, contribute to environmental well-being and improve the health of Fingal residents," he added.

David Storey, of Fingal County Council, also welcomed the scheme.

"We're delighted to facilitate the launch of bike-sharing in the county, bringing a welcome contribution towards more sustainable forms of transport and mobility," he said.

"I look forward to working alongside the chosen operators, BleeperBike, to ensure the success and development of this pilot scheme into the future."

Fingal County Council chief executive Paul Reid said: "The benefits of cycling for our health and environment have been well proven and it is extremely important that infrastructure that allows safe and accessible cycling be provided.

"I'm delighted to see such valuable progress being made in this area."

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