Bleeperbike Scheme Launches without Dublin City Council’s Consent
It has come to the attention of Dublin City Council that Bleeperbike intends to launch its stationless bike scheme this weekend in Dublin. This launch is occurring without the consent of Dublin City Council and in direct conflict with the approach agreed at the May meeting of Dublin City Council’s Transportation Strategic Policy Committee (SPC).
It was decided at the May meeting of the Transportation SPC that Bye-Laws should be prepared and engagement with the market should take place with a view to running a pilot scheme in Dublin. In this regard, Dublin City Council has committed to preparing Bye-Laws and to proactively engaging with all potential stationless bike share operators with a view to giving an equal opportunity to each operator to submit a proposal for a pilot in Dublin.
As bike share schemes provide a public service, operate within the city’s streets and make use of the city’s public realm, it is considered that regulation of the schemes through Bye-Laws is necessary. The main issues to be addressed include managing the potential impacts of the scheme on the public realm, ensuring the bikes are fit for purpose and properly maintained, insurance, ensuring there is adequate cycle parking capacity in city centre locations and ensuring bikes are not abandoned at unsuitable locations. The Bye-Laws will likely require operators to apply for a licence to operate within the city.
The launch of this scheme is therefore premature pending the preparation of Bye-Laws. It also by-passes full engagement with Dublin City Council and may secure an unfair advantage over other potential operators who are prepared to work closely with Dublin City Council.
The Bleeperbike bicycles are unlicensed and will advertise the service which they provide. As such Dublin City Council is empowered to remove them from the public domain. It is an offence under Section 71 of the Roads Act 1993 to place unlicensed items in the public footpath/roadway. Dublin City Council is empowered under Section 71 to remove unlicensed items on the footpath/roadway without further notice.
Dublin City Council has written to Bleeperbike to request them to desist from launching the scheme at this time and from distributing the bikes around the city. Should Bleeperbike ignore this request, members of the public are advised that they use the scheme at their own risk.