Galway’s Bike Scheme has attracted more than 2,100 annual members in its first 10 months in operation. Usage figures supplied by the National Transport Authority show the Cathedral is by far the most popular docking station while stations at Fr. Burke Road, New Dock Street, Claddagh Basin and Eyre Square are also widely used.
Local Fine Gael Deputy Seán Kyne says the statistics show a very positive start for the the bike scheme which comprises 195 bikes across 15 bike stations in the core city centre area. “An analysis of the usage figures will shape how the bike scheme develops and a number of conclusions can be drawn. The most popular routes are from stations on the periphery of the area covered. This is a strong indication that expansion of the service is needed in all directions – westwards towards Salthill and Knocknacarra, northwards towards Tirellan and Menlo, and eastwards towards Mervue, Renmore, Roscam, and Doughiska.”
The TD says that although the number of members is very positive the number of temporary passes issued – three day passes for a basic rate of €3 with longer journeys charged accordingly – stands at 104 and is somewhat disappointing. “While the temporary passes increased in the summer months, the figures could indicate a lack of knowledge of the scheme among visitors to Galway. The higher number of journeys originating and finishing at stations on the western edge of the scheme, such as Claddagh Basin and Fr Burke Road could indicate that bikes are being hired for journeys out to Salthill and beyond, and again reinforces the need to expand.’’
Deputy Kyne believes the bike scheme is a great asset to the city, and says its expansion would enhance the service and bring it to much greater numbers of residents and visitors. “Improving transport in Galway, city and county, requires investment in all modes of transport. Annual funding is allocated by the Minister for Transport to ‘smarter travel projects’ and I am pushing for further funding for the Galway Bike Scheme, as well as for improvements to cycling infrastructure, such as cycle lanes and contra-flow systems, from the upcoming round of Smarter Travel funding.’’