Hundreds of bicycles will be made available through the bikeshare scheme to people in Cork, Limerick, and Galway over the next five weeks.
Galway will be first to launch the scheme on November 24, followed by Limerick on December 8. Cork’s bike scheme will launch on December 18 — about six months later than originally planned.
Customers who pre-register for the scheme on www.bikeshare.ie will get a 50% discount, receiving a special offer of a €5 annual subscription per city. When a customer registers for an annual subscription, they will receive a welcome pack containing details of the scheme and a subscription card.
The Coca-Cola Zero-sponsored scheme features an app for Android and iPhone users, which will be available when the scheme goes live.
Plans for the bike schemes in the three cities were originally announced in September 2013 by then-public transport minister Alan Kelly, now environment minister, who said the schemes would be operational in July 2014.
Mr Kelly visited Cork in July to unveil the design of the bikes, when he said the scheme would be up and running by the end of September. The National Transport Authority subsequently cited logistical issues, such as selecting and electrifying the bike stations and production of the bikes, as cause for the delay.
Cork will have 330 bikes available from 31 bike stations across the city, with 195 bikes at 18 stations in Galway, and 215 bikes for hire from 23 stations in Limerick.
The red and black bikes — sponsored by Coca-Cola for €3m over five years — will have built-in gear-shifting technology, enabling automatic gear changes which the NTA says will contribute towards easier, safer cycling for users.
“We’re delighted to announce that the Coca-Cola Zero Bikes scheme will go live in Galway on November 24,” said Gerry Murphy, CEO of the NTA. “The bikes will be an exciting new addition to the cities of Limerick, Cork and Galway for business and recreational users alike.
“We urge anyone interested in using the bikes in any of the three cities to take advantage of the special 50% discount offer by registering now at www.bikeshare.ie.”
Frank O’Donnell, general manager of Coca-Cola HBC Ireland and Northern Ireland, said the company’s investment in the bikes is part of its wider commitment to help encourage active healthy lifestyles.
“We hope this scheme will enable more people integrate cycling into their everyday lives, with the option of a healthier and happier commute,” said Mr O’Donnell.
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