“Public Bike Schemes can work in the cities outside Dublin” stated Minister Kelly today as he asked the National Transport Authority (NTA) to initiate the process of seeking sponsorship in Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford.

“However they will need the support of the private sector in the form of advertising or naming rights. The NTA are now seeking expressions of interest from potential interested parties" Minister Kelly announced.

"I am quite hopeful that companies will apply and hopefully we can have shared bikes up and running next year. A series of symposia were organised last year to test private sector interest in the scheme and this process is progressing now".

In an accompanying statement, Minister Kelly added "Advertisements will be placed in national and local media and information is available on the National Transport website".

The NTA are seeking expressions of interest from commercial entities who may be interested in participating in sponsorship contracts relating to the proposed public bike sharing schemes.

“DublinBikes is one of the most successful schemes in the world with over 3.5 million journeys taken already. Also, the last census showed that over 200,000 of us drive less than 4km to work. To incentivise people to not use their cars, we have to make walkways cycle paths and the road network more user-friendly", Minister Kelly commented further.

Public bike schemes make cycling more visible and therefore safer, provide more transport choices in city centres and enhance people’s experience of their city, providing a win-win for the public and for business. Getting a scheme up and running in the regional cities would represent a major breakthrough for cycling in this country,” concluded the Minister.

The ‘expressions of interest’ process will close on December 18th.