Dublin bike hire scheme gets 11,000 applications in a fortnight

Organiser runs out of cards after vastly underestimating demand

by Dave Atkinson   October 5, 2009  

Dublinbikes website

Organisers of the Dublin bike hire scheme were left red-faced this week after it emerged they'd grossly underestimated the demand for the subscription cards. Only 5,000 were originally printed, with scheme operators JC Decaux estimating that number would last them a year. However, over 11,000 people applied for the subscription cards in the first fortnight.

The Dublin scheme has 450 bikes for hire, located at 40 stations around the city, and has been extremely popular with the locals. Subscription to the scheme costs €10 and the bikes are free for short journeys of less than half an hour. Applicants to the scheme are currently being given a temporary card, and they'll get an extra 60 days on their subscription once new supplies of the cards arrive.

The announcement is embarrassing for the council and JC Decaux, who it might be argued were more focused on the 72 advertising spots they were given around the city in exchange for running the scheme. It's also a wake-up call for the London scheme: the demand from Dublin commuters is clearly far in excess of expectations, and the same could well be true in England's capital city in spite of the fact that opponents of the London scheme say it's mainly aimed at the tourist pound.