Two companies, BleeperBike and Urbo, got a licence from Dublin City to operate stationless bikes for hire and to compete with Dublin Bikes. This is a big step! And it also a development that has advantages and disadvantages.
One year ago, Dublin City threatened BleeperBike to remove their bikes from Dublin’s streets if they launched as they had planned back then. Now they got the licence and are ready to launch immediately. The bikes are white and are already available in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown. The great thing about the new bikes is that they will allow us to hire bikes in and to areas that are currently not covered by Dublin Bikes (and that might never be reached by Dublin Bikes). The disadvantage the new bike hire schemes might bring is that Dublin Bikes membership will be less attractive for some and therefore the Dublin Bikes charges might go up when less people subscribe.
For users the big difference is that there is no yearly charge, instead you pay from the first minute of usage after you unlock a bike with an app. Dublin Bikes allow you to use the bike for free for the first 30 minutes as often as you like during the year, but you pay a yearly fee. Bleeperbike also have a 3 Month membership and 12 month membership plan that also gives you the first 30 minutes for free if you don’t want to use the Pay as you Go plan, but these membership plans are a lot more expensive than the Dublin Bikes plan and Dublin Bikes could use that as a justification to increase their charges too.
And another important thing to note: “Stationless” doesn’t really mean completely stationless!! You are not allowed to park and lock the car anywhere, instead, the bike has to be locked to a “recognised public cycle parking space” and these spaces are identified in the BleeperBike app.