2 March 2015
By Bryan T. Smyth
At a previous launch of the scheme last summer, the then Transport Junior Minister Alan Kelly attracted attention by not wearing a helmet
Minister Simon Coveney today (March 2) joined Lord Mayor, Cllr Mary Shields, and senior management from the National Transport Authority and Coca-Cola to officially open the new Coca-Cola Zero Bike station at Cork’s City Hall – the last of 31 stations to go live in the bike-hire scheme in the city.
The roll-out, which commenced in December, sees 330 bikes available for public hire across the 31 stations which are located throughout Cork, from Kent Station to Gaol Walk, and from Griffith Bridge to the College of Commerce.
And the bikes-for-hire have been warmly welcomed by the public – to date over 2,500 people have registered for the Cork scheme, over 1,850 for Limerick and over 1,750 for the Galway scheme.
Lord Mayor of Cork, Mary Shields, said: “The Coca-Cola Zero Bikes have been a fantastic addition to the city of Cork since they launched in December, promoting a form of public transport that is healthy, inexpensive, and delivers accessible transport solutions for commuters, tourists and leisure users alike. The completion of the roll-out today will help ensure that cycling becomes the best way to enjoy the city and I’m certain that the bikes will add to the city’s natural and built environment, from UCC, to the English Market and across to Cork City Opera. The scheme will also assist Cork City Council in prompting sustainable transport solutions, an important element of its planning objectives.”
Minister Simon Coveney said: “I’m delighted to officially launch the Coca-Cola Zero Bikes in Cork today, a hugely exciting development for the city. With 31 stations and 330 bikes, the roll-out of the bike scheme will have an impact on promoting sustainable transport solutions for the city, which will help support a reduction in carbon emissions. We have already seen the bikes around the city since the first number of stations launched in December and the completion of the roll-out of the scheme in Cork today will offer people another option for the commute. The scheme will also provide a boost to the city’s tourist offering, allowing visitors to explore Finbarr’s Cathedral, Grand Parade, The English Market and beyond.”
Anne Graham, CEO of the National Transport Authority said: “We are delighted to have completed the Cork Coca-Cola Zero Bikes scheme. It’s the biggest scheme outside Dublin and we have been working closely with the team in Cork City Council and with our contractors for the past few months. It’s an exciting and dynamic scheme, which has already proved extremely popular over the roll-out phase in Cork, as well as in the Cities of Limerick and Galway where schemes were introduced a few months ago. We can see that people living in, working in and visiting Cork are already enjoying this new option that is now available to them for getting around the city.
“Even though all three city schemes are still in their launch/growth phases, the usage statistics to date are very encouraging. Over 11,700 rentals have already taken place in Cork, over 5,800 in Limerick and over 5,000 in Galway – and this for a scheme that started its roll-out in mid-winter. We’re really confident that the Coca-Cola Zero Bikes will be hugely successful in each city, and will really add a new dimension for people spending time there.”
Frank O’Donnell, General Manager of Coca-Cola HBC Ireland and Northern Ireland said: “It is fantastic to be here today to mark the completion of the Coca-Cola Zero Bikes scheme, with all 31 stations now live across Cork city.
“Our investment in Coca Cola Zero Bikes is part of our wider commitment to help encourage active healthy lifestyles and we hope this scheme will enable more people to integrate cycling into their everyday lives, with the option of a healthier and happier commute.”
In May 2014, the Rothar Nua consortium was awarded the contract for the provision of public bike schemes in the cities of Cork, Limerick and Galway by the National Transport Authority, with capital funding of €5.1 million for these schemes being provided by the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport.
Coca-Cola’s partnership for the regional schemes made the roll out possible with an almost €3 million investment over five years.
To register today for an annual subscription to Coca-Cola Zero Bikes of just €10 log onto www.bikeshare.ie.