Dubliners gave a bemused welcome to the new bike stations which went on display in the city centre yesterday.
A true Dub quipped: "One of those bikes would look well under my mother’s bed," while another predicted the new service is likely to be very popular, particularly with tourists and many workers in the capital. It is hoped vandalism will not be a major problem, and those who fail to return the bikes will have pay a €150 penalty on their credit card. According to the publicity blurb, for €10 you can enjoy all the benefits of Dublinbikes with the swipe of a card at one of the stations. For occasional use, or for visitors, a three-day ticket costs just €2.
The scheme is expected to appeal particularly to those interested in a healthier lifestyle and those determined to rid themselves of that ubiquitous paunch. The scheme is similar to those running in Paris, Lyon, Vienna, Seville, Berlin and Copenhagen. The network of 40 stations extends from the Mater Hospital in the north of the city to Grand Canal Street in the south, and from Smithfield in the west to the IFSC and north docklands in the east.
Dublin City Council, in conjunction with outdoor advertising company JC Decaux, are behind the move. Stations will have nine bikes on average, and busier locations such as train and bus stations will have extra capacity.
At each terminal, there will be a machine to allow the user to "rent" the bike. The user will be able to return a bike at another station close to their destination. The bikes, which are supplied by JC Dexaux, are well built, with three gears, un-deflatable tyres and are said to be damage-resistant.