The National Transport Authority has revealed that it plans to expand the Public Bikes Scheme in Cork next year.
The bike scheme, sponsored by Coca-Cola, is a self-service bike rental service with stations conveniently located throughout the city.
Bikes are located across the city at various locations, including Grand Parade, North Main Street and just outside University College Cork, on the Western Road.
Speaking to The Echo in recent days, the president of Cork Institute of Technology, Dr Barry O’Connor, revealed that CIT has sought an extension of the scheme to include its Bishopstown campus.
Dr O’Connor was speaking about the need for greater public transport in the region to address housing and transport issues.
He explained that reliable public transport would allow people to live outside Cork city and travel in for work or study.
He added that, at the moment, public transport in Cork is unreliable and people are forced to live close to work and college as a result, which is leading to greater competition for accommodation.
“We have attempted to get the City Bikes Scheme extended out here to CIT but it hasn’t been successful yet,” said Dr O’Connor.
When asked for comment on the issue, a spokesperson for the NTA said that the authority is planning to extend the bike scheme in Cork in 2020.
He added, however: “It has not been decided as yet, as to whether it can extend as far west as CIT.”
Conn Donovan, a member of the Cork Cycling Campaign, welcomed the move but called for it to be put into action.
“The public bike scheme in Cork has been a huge success with well over a million trips since its launch and over 12,000 registered annual users,” he said.
“The Cork Cycling Campaign identified several locations last year where new stations would be welcomed.
"As the network of the scheme expands, it's highly likely that usage will continue to growth," he added.
“The business community love the public bike share scheme too as it allows people to get to meetings and events in the city centre with minimum hassle - no parking, no waiting for a pick up, no charge if you dock your bike again within 30 minutes.
“Cycling is a healthy, social, affordable and environmentally friendly way to move around Cork,” said Mr Donovan.
“More coke bike stations helps relieve the pressure on our roads, free up seats on buses and gets people active. It's a win win.”