Bike library scheme to be extended after ‘phenomenal’ success at Dublin school

A bike library pilot scheme is prepared to be extended due to its life-changing influence on a school based in Dublin.

The project primarily enables parents to borrow cargo bikes and other ebikes with intervals of up to three months as an alternative to car trips to and from school.

Harold’s Cross ETS implemented this scheme in September at the beginning of the school year.

They chose the institution primarily because of major concerns in the mornings since the road on the outside is narrow, and traffic holds up pretty fast.

According to Prof Francesco Pilla, the founder of the Bike Library scheme and chair of University College Dublin’s smart and sustainable cities, the school has been nearly car-free since the project was introduced seven months ago. All the parents are either walking or cycling their kids to school. He further defined the bike initiative’s success as “phenomenal”.

All the parents were issued 15 ebikes, four foldable ebikes, and three cargo bikes to try for themselves and their kids.

The project encouraged parents to embrace cycling and teach their kids to cycle to school. According to Prof Pilla, 150 bikes are now parked in the schoolyard. The fascinating part is that most belong to their children. The parents embraced the scheme and acknowledged it was good for the children not to be driven to school by car but to travel actively. The bike library launched the active travel theme within that school. All parents are promoting it and encouraging their children to embrace cycling.

Fiona Connelly, a mother of three, borrowed a covered electric cargo bike via the library. She’s carried out 3 separate drops for her kids to 3 dissimilar schools while eliminating the need of parking or allowing them to use their micro-scooters. You only need to trail it to understand how many amazing benefits it will offer your lifestyle. You won’t hesitate to buy it.

The bike library initiative will soon be expanded to 10 more institutions within the Dublin region from Easter to summer. The scheme will also be extended to 10 more schools during the autumn. All schools will be provided with a selection of bicycles, and they’ll be available for free to parents. If it succeeds in those schools, it will be expanded nationwide next year.

Many parents should pay more attention to the cost of e-cargo bikes to take their kids to school. They typically cost around €5,000 to €8,000 new. The concept behind these bike libraries is that you can borrow a bicycle to check whether it matches your requirements and as an alternative to a second vehicle for school runs, short trips, and shopping.

The National Transport Authority funds this initiative, which will cost around €500,000.

According to Anne Graham, Authority chief executive, the Harold’s Cross experiment was “hugely successful” and
illustrated the significance of such an initiative. She also added that they’d use them once people try out e-bikes, and it provides them with that extra distance they can travel.

“This bike library is a highly effective tool that will help us inspire more families to adopt active travel and eliminate even more avoidable car trips from the crowded morning rush hour.”

The programme was introduced in Assumption National School for Girls located in Walkinstown, Co Dublin. According to principal Maeve Crowe, only one child out of 228 students cycles to school. Two parents have cargo bicycles in that school, and combined with the junior school nearby; there are 400 pupils.

“We’re hoping that such a scheme can help parents curb their hesitation towards cycling. She said that the upfront cost of a bike is expensive, so it’s helpful that they may try to give it a go without the financial responsibility.

Eamon Ryan, the Minister for Transport, has also welcomed the project and hopes it will result in a permanent modal change for the school run for most families.