Bicycles in a row at a docking station.; Bicycles in a row at a docking station.;

Regional Cities Bike Share Scheme, Galway, Limerick, Cork and Waterford

Helping run Ireland’s regional bike share schemes

Bike share schemes have revolutionised city travel for millions of people worldwide, supporting a transition to more active and sustainable urban transport modes while severely reducing traffic-related emissions and congestion.

Inexpensive, easy-to-use and now reaching critical mass, public bike sharing schemes allow everyone to experience the benefits of this green and healthy mode of transport – at a marginal cost. These affordable active transport schemes help to get people out of their cars and onto a pair of wheels, freeing up street space to enable public transport flow.

As one of the most successful bike share schemes in Europe, dublinbikes has transformed cycling and public transport in Dublin since its launch in 2009. Similar schemes were then rolled out across regional cities in Ireland, with Arup appointed by the National Transport Authority (NTA) to oversee the implementation and operation of public bike share schemes in the cities of Galway, Limerick, Cork and Waterford. This involved planning, designing, procuring and installing public bike sharing schemes in the four cities.

Project Summary

4 Irish cities

>1,000bikes in the scheme

>100docking stations

Cycle schemes: encouraging active lifestyles

Arup was appointed by the NTA in 2012 to progress the bike rental scheme from feasibility stage through to detailed design in Galway, Limerick and Cork, including holding a public consultation and managing the procurement of a contractor.

In 2021, the Regional Cities Bike Share Scheme was expanded to include Waterford city. Photo credit: Julien Behal Photography

These self-service bike rental schemes, with an annual and short-term subscription model, allow users to check out a bike from a number of docking stations throughout the city, making it attractive to commuters and tourists alike.

The scheme involved the provision of bicycles and associated on-street infrastructure at strategic locations throughout the cities.

After appointing a contractor, Arup’s traffic engineers and transport planning consultants managed the construction and handover phases – including site supervision, liaising with all stakeholders, contract management and a significant focus on technology testing and commissioning.

Managing a growing bike share scheme

Our commission with the NTA included managing the operations phase of the contract which involved the monitoring of scheme performance and approving operational payments, liaising with the operator, the NTA, relevant local authorities and other stakeholders or interested third parties. This also involved collaborating with all relevant parties to resolve any operational issues as they arose on a month-to-month basis.

Bicycle being used at a bike share scheme station Bicycle being used at a bike share scheme station

Advising the NTA on how to improve user experience, Arup’s traffic engineers and transport planners assisted with an overhaul of the scheme, including the design development of a new model bicycle and new, improved hardware components.

Arup assisted the NTA with an expansion in Cork and Limerick cities and the addition of a new scheme in Waterford in 2021, bringing the total number of bicycles available across the four regional cities to more than 1,000 at over 100 docking stations.