Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Dublin Bikes

It was a long time coming, I remember discussing the scheme with Mary Freehill in 2007, but the Dublin Bikes scheme was finally launched on 13th September. For 10 euro a year I now have the freedom to scoot around town at lunchtime and get a small amount of exercise in the process. Sounds almost too good to be true.

Well unfortunately it is. In getting the scheme operational, Dublin City Council have sold their soul to the devil in the form of JC Decaux. DCC granted almost twice as much advertising per bike to JCD as was awarded in Paris. Also it appears as though the scheme was not tendered for publicly. Now, with only slightly more than a week gone, JCD have got a court order against a free iPhone app that would let you find in real-time the location of the nearest station and show the number of bikes and free stands at it.

Now don't get me wrong, I think the scheme is a wonderful idea. I've already clocked up over an hour of biking which is probably more than the total I've done in the last few years. I look forward to the scheme being extended to places like Fairview, Rathmines and out to Heuston and the Phoenix Park but it seems as though DCC will have to do that at their own cost as the JCD sweetheart deal won't cover it.

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