Dublin Bikes expansion to new DIT campus is put on hold due to shortage of funding
August 12th, 2016
Plans to extend Dublin’s bike rental scheme to incorporate Dublin Institute of Technology’s (DIT) Grangegorman campus have been postponed due to a lack of funds.
The plans to instate 15 new bike stations, including two new stations in the south side of the city at Merrion Square South and at the Wilton Terrace, were at one point due to be in place by September/October of this year. They have now been put on hold, however, with Dublin City Council reporting that the existing system is currently operating at a loss.
A spokesman for the council stated that the National Transport Agency would have been capable of funding the €1.2 million capital costs for the new stations, but that the maintenance and management costs of the additional stations would have been in the region of €500,000 a year, adding to the current losses of more than €376,000. A report by DublinBikes last year recommended increasing the annual subscription price by 50% in 2017 to €30, in order to make up the losses to the council, but stated that it would not enable any expansion of the network.
Writing for Irishcycle.com, Cian Ginty reported on a council publication that found that funding the expansion through on-street advertising at sites around Dublin 4 would be possible, as was included in the original 2006 DublinBikes deal, but that City Councillors had yet to approve the specific sites.
Councillor Ciarán Cuffe of the Green Party has called on the central government to fund DublinBikes, stating that sustainable transport deserves “at least 10% of the overall transport budget from central government”. He commented: “It is high time that the Department of Transport took sustainable transportation seriously. The expansion of the Dublin Bikes scheme which kicked off in  has ground to a snail’s pace over the last few years. The 14 stage expansion plan should have been completed by now but instead we are being denied funding from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport. Sustainable transport is left with the crumbs of the transport cake, receiving less than 1% of current funding.”
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