Sunday 15 February 2009

Bicycle rental scheme to go ahead

The French scheme was introduced 18 months ago with 20,000 bicycles, but 7,800 have already been stolen and 1 1,600 have been vandalised or damaged, according to figures released by JCDecaux.

Re¤mi Pheulpin, director general of JCDecaux, told French media the scheme was unsustainable since all of the costs were borne by the company, while the revenues went to the city. He said a private company could not shoulder the burden alone.

However, a spokesman for Dublin City Council said the situation in Paris would not have any impact on plans for the Dublin scheme. He said the council had a 15-year contract with JCDecaux, which sees the advertising firm bear sole responsibility for the replacement and maintenance of the bicycles.

Under the terms of the Dublin deal, JCDecaux is to supply 450 bikes in exchange for 72 advertising panels in city centre locations.

The council spokesman said that ‘‘enabling work’’ for the scheme was due to begin next month and it would take three to four months before the scheme would be in operation. The council has already identified 40 sites at which bikes will be installed in racks around the city for use by the public.

The scheme will be electronically run, with users pre-paying for use either through a smart card or credit card.

Sunday Business Post

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