A view of Harold's Cross new Bicycle Library , Source: Francesco Pilla on Twitter

First bicycle library opens in Dublin

First bicycle library opens in Dublin

The library will offer parents the option to try out different modes of transportation for their primary school children without any financial barriers

This week the first bicycle library opened in Dublin. The library is part of the Educate Together National School in Harold’s Cross and would give parents the chance to borrow cargo bikes, folding bikes and e-bikes as part of the school package.

In turn, this would help families and students alike, experience the benefits of independent and emissions-free mobility without having to contend with the sometimes high barrier to entry from the bikes price.

Giving families more options to choose modes of transport

As Francesco Pilla, a Professor of Smart Cities at University College Dublin and one of the organisers behind the project puts it, the idea is to give parents a choice when commuting to school – the choice to use a bike.

While cycling is one of the cheapest forms of transport, cargo bikes and e-bikes can have a pretty high barrier to entry, because of the initial cost of the bike. Thus, apart from helping people with commute costs, the project also aims to give parents and children a taste of the benefits of cycling.

This is particularly relevant for the mobility context in Dublin, according to a statement by iCharge, an organisation that helped create the bicycle library that is also funded by the European Commission and supported by the Science Foundation Ireland.

Recently, in a press statement, iCharge explained that around three-quarters of trips in Ireland are made by car, making the Republic very much an outlier in the EU when it comes to sustainable mobility. Thus, the idea behind iCharge is to help reduce the number of cars, which in turn should lead to safer roads, fewer accidents and, importantly, fewer CO2 emissions.

Reducing transport emissions in Dublin through a shift in mobility

This opinion was shared by Professor Pilla as well, as RTÉ, Ireland’s national broadcaster, reported. Reducing traffic would help Dublin reduce local emissions and offer a better quality of life for residents. Additionally, it would also help officials meet the ambitious carbon pledges they have made in recent years, like turning Dublin into one of the first 100 climate-neutral cities in the EU by 2030.

Additionally, Professor Pilla also pointed out that local authorities in Dublin can use the bicycle library in Harold’s Cross as a pilot project to eventually grow the initiative to other schools in the city.



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