Understanding Dublin Bikes

Dublin’s bike sharing service was launched in September 2009 with 450 bikes available in 40 stations around the city centre.

dublinbikes-logoIt is widely acknowledged to be one of the most successful bike sharing schemes in the world, due the large numbers of people who have subscribed and used the bikes, and the relatively low number of problems that it has experienced.  The bike sharing been so successful that it is due to be expanded by the middle of 2014 to have a total of 1,500 bikes at 102 stations.

A PDF map of existing and proposed stations is available here.

Like most of the other bike share schemes in the world, the Dublin Bikes are docked at stations that are spaced evenly throughout the city centre, just 250-350 metres apart. A computer-controlled process allows someone to take a bike, and then records it’s return to any of the stations. The price paid for the rental is calculated based upon the duration of the hire.

To rent a bike you will need either an annual subscription (€10 per year) or a 3-day ticket (€2 per ticket). This allows you an unlimited number of hires, but you can only take one bike at a time. For each hire the first 30 minutes is free, and after that there are escalating fees for longer hires. The scheme is designed to encourage short point-to-point journeys, rather than for long rentals.

The statistics as of January 2013 were:

  • Over 91,000 annual subscriptions
  • Almost 5 million journeys
  • 95% of rentals are under 30 minutes, and are therefore free
  • 75% of journeys are under 2km
  • Average rental time of 13 minutes

Dublin Bikes are incredibly popular amongst commuters, shoppers and tourists – and typically replace or augment the journeys taken by public transport. The Dublin Bikes are also increased the number of bicycles in the city centre, which has increased awareness of bikes amongst drivers.

Dublin Bikes
Dublin Bikes

The bikes are of a sturdy (and somewhat heavy) unisex step-through design. The have 3-speed hub gears, front and rear hub brakes, and puncture-resistant tyres. There is an adjustable height seat, and chain and skirt guards to protect clothing. There’s also dynamo powered lighting and a front basket.

The bikes are available for rental all year round, and from 5.00am to 12.30am each day.

I’ve had an annual membership since the scheme was launched. I only use the bikes sparingly, but even so they’re still great value for money. On the odd occasion I’m in town without my own bike, they save so much time.

Link: Dublin Bikes

Richard Bloomfield

Richard is the founder of Dublin Bike Blog. He commutes to work every day by bike, come rain or shine, on his Dutch city bike. You can read more from Richard on his blog richardbloomfield.ie.

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