The Bike Library project is funded by the NTA’s Active Travel Programme and will be led by UCD’s School of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy.
Hundreds of families are set to experience the benefits that come from choosing to cycle their daily commute to and from school, as part of a new partnership between the National Transport Authority and University College Dublin (UCD) which will see the introduction of 20 new “Bike Libraries” at primary schools across the Dublin City.
The Bike Library project will give families the opportunity to borrow either an e-bike, cargo bike or foldable bike for a set period during the school term at no charge. This will allow them to experience using these bikes before having to decide to buy one; “try before you buy”. The aim of the project is to encourage families to make a permanent modal shift to sustainable, active travel for their daily commutes.
The initial ten schools, including the Assumption Senior GNS in Walkinstown, will take part in the Bike Library project in the Spring/Summer term this year. This will be followed by the second tranche of schools in the new academic year in September for a period of 3 months. The bikes are provided and managed by UCD, and the project is funded by the Department of Transport through the National Transport Authority’s Active Travel Programme.
The founder of the Bike Library project, Professor Francesco Pilla, who is a Professor and Chair of Smart and Sustainable Cities at UCD, established Ireland’s first Bike Library in September of last year when he piloted the project at a school in Harold’s Cross. Following phenomenal demand for the bike libraries throughout other primary schools in the Dublin City Area, Professor Pilla has joined forces with the National Transport Authority’s Active Travel team in a bid to roll it out to other schools.
Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan said: “Cycling to and from school helps to develop active travel as a lifestyle habit from an early age – and children generally love to cycle. However, one of the barriers to getting some children on their bikes can be the fact that their parents don’t have a bike or much cycling experience, leading to a lack of confidence to make the shift away from private cars and on to bicycles for the daily commute. This Bike Library project can change that and, hopefully, will lead to a permanent modal shift for the school run for many families. ”
CEO of the National Transport Authority, Anne Graham said: “The National Transport Authority supports active travel, including cycling, at hundreds of schools nationwide through the Safe Routes to School programme which is delivering safer cycling and walking environments at the front of schools. The Bike Library is another excellent tool that will help us encourage more families to embrace active travel and remove even more unnecessary car journeys from the congested morning rush hour. ”
Professor Francesco Pila, University College Dublin said: “The bike library is all about climate action and gives the opportunity to families to have an active role in reducing traffic emissions and in accelerating the transition towards climate neutrality in Ireland. The Idea behind a Bike Library is to provide parents with the opportunity to test and trial a range of eBikes, eCargo Bikes and Folding Bikes as well as different options around transporting children i.e., trailers, child seats etc. This will allow them to see the benefits of eMobility and encourage a modal shift without the upfront costs of purchasing their own eBike immediately. ”
The first tranche of schools to benefit from the Bike Library project include:
• Full details on how the Bike Library works and how families can take part are available