The scheme, dublinbikes, will officially launch on 13 September and according to Dublin City Council will operate in a similar way to schemes in Paris, Brussels, Vienna and Seville.

Running seven days a week it will use 450 bikes, at 40 centrally located stations, which can be used between 5.30am and just after midnight.

Users will need to sign up for an account with the scheme here but will only be charged if they use the bikes for longer than 30 minutes each time.

Of the 40 stands 14 will also accept credit cards allowing tourists to buy a three day pass for the bikes costing €2.

A long term card costs €10 but a guarantee of €150 is also needed, the service charge for the scheme works at 30 minutes free, one hour 50cents, two hours €1.50, three hours €3.50 and four hours costing €6.50 and from then €2 charge every half an hour.

Although, the council expects most people to use the bikes for an average of about 18 minutes.

The city council has also hired UK firm JCDecaux who specialise in outdoor adverting to generate more income.

A similar idea is being launched in London later this year, but attempts to bring this initiative to the UK have so far failed.

A spokesman for the authority concedes it relies on people taking it in the right spirit, but he hoped Dubliners would embrace it.

He said: “dublinbikes has enormous potential and its success is largely dependent on people’s support, consideration and goodwill.

“It was debated for years and it generated a lot of discussion. But now it’s here it will change the face of public transport in our city.”

Luke Walsh

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