Dublin introduces new bike program - Page 2
The scheme is a carbon copy of the Paris Velib scheme which is very successful. The deal is that JCDecaux provide the bikes and in return reap the benefit of the advertising at these sites. The other side of the deal is that JCDecaux give up some billboard sites which were already in existence, a good idea in tidying up the urban landscape. There are 450 bikes at 40 stations around the city. This is where part of the controversy lies, as some Dubliners thought that there should be more bikes in return for the value of the advertising sites. However in the face of the recession the demand for advertising has fallen considerably.
The contract entered into by the Council with JCDecaux to provide a package of public amenities for the city and the removal of 100 billboards was negotiated during 2006 at the height of the economic boom in Ireland. Anticipated advertising sales used to fund the public amenities were based on a strong advertising market. The contract is nonetheless a no risk arrangement for the Council who were seeking new ways to introduce funding for public services.
Dublin City Council said:- 'The contract between Dublin City Council and JCDecaux manages to maintain the provision of an enlarged bike scheme, an Information and Communications System, way finding scheme and the removal of 100 billboards.'
'The Civic Information Panels allow the City Council to promote events and communicate with people in Dublin. In the current economic situation and with budgets reduced dramatically this remains a very valuable commodity to the City Council and this provision within the contract has already been very successfully used by; anti-litter, water conservation, motor tax, development plan, libraries, etc. The sites are already booked as far ahead as August 2010 with strategic and important campaigns through the City Council’s Communications Department.'
A piece of advice to you if you are thinking of using Dub Bikes - make sure that the bike you are about to choose does not have a flat tyre before you book it.... Oh and make sure you have an idea where the next station is before you set off.