Pitch and putt players test the waters for a Dublin Bike scheme extension

By Maurice Garvey

DESPITE the appearance of two Dublin Bikes over the bank holiday weekend at Longmeadows Pitch and Putt Club – there no plans in place right now to extend the popular scheme to Ballyfermot.

A couple of Dublin Bike members seemingly used the bikes to travel to the club for a round of pitch and putt – possibly travelling from the city centre although the nearest bike station is at Kilmainham Gaol.

Dublin Bikes Ballyfermot

Ballyfermot councillors have called for the scheme to be extended to Dublin 10 and surrounding areas, but funding is cited a key barrier according to Dublin City Council.

The scheme began in 2009 with 450 bikes, expanding to 1,500 bikes and is currently in phase two of a 14-phase expansion.
In a report delivered to councillors last April, DCC revealed they operating the scheme in 2015 at a loss of €376k – despite income from subscription/usage and sponsorship from Coca Cola.

The operational cost per year is €1,925,000.

Research undertaken by the council planning and property development department estimate the cost of expanding the planned 14 phases to be in the region of €100 million over a 10-year period.

A spokesperson for DCC said it would be a “big ask” to expand the scheme to Ballyfermot, and that it would require “filling in the gaps” between existing bike stations and Dublin 10.

Bike stations are distributed throughout the city centre – optimally 300 to 400 metres apart. The most commercially efficient sites are located in Grafton Street and College Green.

DCC are exploring the possibility of increasing annual subscription fees, which at €20, are favourable compared to other European cities.

The possibility of a €5 increase by the end of the year is being looked at.

Current fees include a three-day ticket at €5.

For short-term use, the first 30 minutes are free, after that a service charge is debited from your account, or credit card if you have purchased a three-day ticket. Service charges are 50 cent up to an hour, €1.50 up to two hours, €3.50 up to three hours and so on.

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