HALF a million trips have been taken on the Coke Zero bikes since their introduction in Cork, two years ago.
The public bike-share scheme went live in December, 2014.
Some 9,523 people were members as of the end of November, 2016, the most recent statistics available from the National Transport Authority.
562,275 trips had been registered, with October proving the most popular month in both 2015 and 2016.
Midweek days are the busiest, with Sundays the quietest. UCC students are among the most frequent users of the bikes, evident from the busiest depots in the city: Fitzgerald’s Park, Bandfield, and Gaol Walk, with Kent Station not far behind.
The bikes are available for free for thirty minutes to registered users, with charges kicking in after this period. Most users are avoiding the charges, though, with 98% of trips less than 30 minutes in duration. The average trip lasts just eight minutes.
Unsurprisingly, morning and evening rush hours are the busiest times for use, with a small peak at lunchtime, too.
However, despite the positive usage figures, there are no plans to expand the scheme in Cork. Locals have asked for it to be extended to CIT, Wilton, and Bishopstown, in the west of the city, while interest groups have also lobbied for the installation of new depots in Blackpool, Douglas, and Mahon.
A spokesperson for the NTA said they are “happy with the performance of the scheme in Cork.”
“Usage patterns indicate that it has become a key element of the transport offering in the city, for both commuters and students, as well as providing new recreational cycling opportunities,” he said.
However, he added that the focus will be on bringing other schemes up to par, rather than expanding the offering in Cork.
“The scheme in Cork has been a great success, with usage rates already on par with those in Dublin,” he said.
“The immediate priority is to commission the expansion of the Galway scheme, early in 2017.”
Usage figures for Galway and Limerick are substantially lower than those in Cork, with just 12,867 trips taken in Galway, in 2016, fewer than any single month in Cork.
The number of trips in Limerick also dropped, by approximately 10,000, from 2015 to 2016, sparking concern about the future of the scheme there.
The spokesperson confirmed that a review of the scheme in all three cities will take place later to ensure its continued success.