Coca-Cola Zero Bikes will go live in Limerick on December 8th and Cork on December 18th

Minister for Transport Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe TD, was today (Monday) joined by Hugh Creegan, Deputy CEO of the National Transport Authority, Frank O’Donnell, General Manager of Coca‑Cola HBC Ireland and Northern Ireland and Hector Ó hEochagáin, TV and radio personality at Eyre Square to officially launch the Coca‑Cola Zero Bikes in Galway. Today’s launch will be closely followed by a launch in Limerick (December 8) and Cork (December 18).

When the scheme is fully complete there will be 19 stations and 195 bikes located throughout Galway city. The scheme is set to benefit tourists, commuters and leisure bike users alike.

Speaking at the launch today, Minister Donohoe said: “The launch of the Coca‑Cola Bike Zero Bike scheme today in Galway is exciting for the city and for those who have been awaiting the roll-out of the initiative beyond Dublin. The success of this scheme in the capital has been remarkable, with a recent doubling of the number of stations and a trebling of the number of bikes to meet demand.

“Through the NTA, my Department has provided funding of €5.1 million for the three regional schemes, and depending on their success, we will be looking at extending to other cities in the future. In a bid to encourage more people in Galway to leave the car at home and hop on a bike, close to €3 million was allocated last year under the Regional Cities Programme to promote cycling, walking and increased use of public transport. It funded the installation and upgrading of cycle parking at Bearna, Moycullen, Oranmore and Clare-Galway; a network of signed cycle routes for the Galway Metropolitan Area; and progress on the Threadneedle Road Cycleway, the Bearna Greenway and the Tuam Road/Joyce Road Junction.

“The Coca‑Cola Zero Bike scheme offers excellent value for money and allows people to glean all the benefits from cycling without ever having to own their own bike. I have no doubt that the people of Galway will embrace the scheme in the same way Dubliners have and I look forward to the opening of Cork and Limerick schemes in weeks ahead.”

The National Transport Authority and Coca‑Cola are calling on the people of Galway to sign up for Coca‑Cola Zero Bikes at www.bikeshare.ie to receive an annual subscription for €5. This special offer extends to the end of 2014. When a bike user registers for an annual subscription they will receive a Welcome Pack in the post containing details of how to use the scheme and a subscription card.

Hugh Creegan, Deputy CEO of the National Transport Authority said: “The public bikes concept has proved extremely popular over the past 5 years in Dublin and we are delighted to commence the national rollout of the scheme – starting here in Galway today. We’ll be in Limerick and Cork in the next few weeks, making Ireland one of very few countries with such a spread of city bike schemes. From Eyre Square, to Spanish Arch and Galway Cathedral, we’ve located the Coca‑Cola Zero bike stations conveniently throughout the city to ensure the best possible experience for tourists, commuters and leisure users alike. We are grateful to the local authorities for all their assistance and support in the development of the infrastructure on the ground.”

In May of this year the Rothar Nua consortium was awarded the contract for the provision of public bike schemes in the cities of Cork, Galway and Limerick by the National Transport Authority, with capital funding of the schemes being provided by the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport.

Coca‑Cola’s partnership for the regional schemes made the roll out possible with an almost €3m investment over the next five years.

Frank O’Donnell, General Manager of Coca‑Cola HBC Ireland and Northern Ireland said: “‘We are delighted to be here today to see the Coca‑Cola Zero Bikes for the first time on the streets of Galway. We hope that Coca‑Cola Zero Bikes will make cycling more accessible to the people of Galway, Limerick and Cork, helping to create a culture of cycling and encouraging more active lifestyles.”

To register today for an annual subscription to Coca‑Cola Zero Bikes log onto www.bikeshare.ie

For Customer Care, please dial 0818 44 44 77. This can be used for customers seeking assistance or further information on the scheme. Additionally, an Android App is now available for downlad in the Google Play store, with the iPhone Apps available from the Apple iTunes Store in the coming days.

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Media contact:

Sara Morris, National Transport Authority, 0863858431

Notes to the editor:

Photography

Photography will be issued by Andrew Downes and is available upon request from:

Suzanne Sullivan: suzanne@q4pr.ie

Colin Taylor: colin@q4pr.ie

Bike station locations

Galway Bike Stations: 19 Stations

Limerick Bike Stations: 23 stations

Cork Bike Stations: 31 stations