NUI Galway Launches ‘SPIN’ First Bike Hire Scheme Outside Dublin
Wednesday, 11 September 2013
Pictured (l-r) at the launch of NUI Galway Spin Bike Hire Scheme - Catherine O'Brien, Aoife Smyth and Dean Reidy.
SPIN Campus Bikes offers 45 bikes at eight stations across the 102 hectare campus
NUI Galway today launched Ireland’s first bike hire scheme outside Dublin. It is part of NUI Galway’s Green Campus Initiative to allow for sustainable transport for both students and staff on and off the 102 hectare campus.
The SPIN Campus Bikes are part of NUI Galway’s Travel Plan aimed at reducing the environmental impact of intra-campus travel and congestion on campus. It follows the introduction of a ‘Park and Ride’ bus facility for students and staff on the Galway campus.
The scheme is the first of its kind to launch in Ireland since the highly successful ‘dublinbikes’ scheme launched in 2006. The new service will see 45 ‘intelligent’ bikes, in NUI Galway ‘Spin Campus Bikes’ colours available to hire from eight self-service stations across the campus, including the library, park and ride station and university sports centre.
Students and staff must pay a €10 per year registration fee to access the bikes. They are then issued an access code which they use to hire any bike free for the first half an hour. The cost rises the longer the hire time is to encourage users to return the bikes to any station quickly, ready for the next user.
NUI Galway’s Vice President for Student Experience Pat Morgan said “This scheme sits within NUI Galway’s wider vision of a sustainable, green campus as outlined in its Travel Plan 2011-2014. It is however, an eminently practical way for both students and staff to make their way around a campus that has grown considerably under the University’s capital investment plan in recent years. It further allows those who choose to ‘Park and Ride’ the option of either bus or bike when travelling from place to place on campus.”
The facility, offered by GrandScheme Ltd. has been specially designed to offer utmost flexibility and minimise the on-street infrastructure required. The Newcastle-upon-Tyne based company behind the system has recently launched schemes at the University of Sunderland and Oxford, in the UK.
Each bright purple custom branded bike comes with an integrated keypad unit that dispenses the lock key once the user has entered their access code. The bikes can be locked up anywhere during a hire using the lock provided. On-board GPS tracking is used to tell members how far they have ridden and ensure that bikes are returned to the dedicated racks at the end of the hire.
Unlike systems found across Europe and the US, the Spin scheme does not require large heavy infrastructure docking stations and uses standard bike racks. Maintenance of the system is being provided by West Ireland Cycling, an established local business.
Rob Grisdale, CEO of Grand Scheme Bike Share Limited said “Putting the technology on the bike rather than on the street in heavy docking stations makes a lot of sense. You get more data about how the scheme is being used and the whole system is more flexible. This approach is also very cost effective, meaning that we can set schemes up on any scale, from large city wide programs to smaller schemes like Spin.”
More information about the scheme including details on registering with Spin can be found at www.grandscheme.co.uk/galway.
Author: Marketing and Communications Office, NUI Galway