Conrad Richardson, Environmental Officer for UCD Students’ Union, who hosted the event as part of UCD Environmental week, told the College Tribune that “Lord Mayor Andrew Montague gave a very insightful and interactive talk. It was a pleasure and an honour to have him come in and talk on a very relevant environmental issue.”
The Lord Mayor, who established the dublinbike scheme in 2009, has since been one of its biggest advocates and has overseen the project’s growth into one of the most successful bike share rental schemes around the world.
During his time speaking at UCD, the Lord Mayor expressed his commitment to see the scheme expand and grow even further, with plans to expand from five hundred to five thousand bikes, though currently there are no immediate plans to expand to UCD due to various limitations.
The Lord Mayor himself was supportive of the idea of expanding dublinbikes as far as UCD. He stated that “cost is not so much an issue; it is more of a legality issue”. He hopes that can he use his influence to promote the scheme and push the transport authority to expand in UCD’s direction.
Other limitations include the fact that the University is situated outside of the Dublin City Council area, and the fact that for the scheme to be implemented all the way to UCD, dublinbikes stations must be situated every 300m from the city centre, which would require a gradual expansion outward from the city centre which is like to take up to 5 years.
Campaigns and Communications Vice-President Brendan Lacey announced this fact a number of months ago in a Union Council report. He has since stated to the Tribune that he is continuing work on a local bike scheme but “it’s a case of trying to find the funding”.
Despite these challenges, the Lord Mayor agreed that it seems logical that UCD is included in the expansion of dublinbikes, because there is no reason why the scheme would be any less successful that in the other areas of Dublin, rather “it could be even more successful.”