To use the scheme people need to sign up and get a card to hire the bikes for journeys, however any trip of 16 minutes or less is free.

As well as the 100 extra bikes, taking the total number to 550, around 300 new bike stands are to be built, making 1,087 overall and four new bike stations are to be added taking the total to 44.

The council will spend about 6.6M euros on expanding the scheme, and will get the funding by placing advertising on some of the bicycle stations.

Executive manager of the scheme, Jim Keogan, said the move was in response to the ‘massive demand and success’ of dublinbikes since its launch on September 13 last year.

He said: “Dublinbikes has attracted more than 20,000 long term members and more than 10,000 short term members in only eight months.

“In that time dublinbikes members have made well over half a million bike journeys, 96% of these journeys have been free as the average journey time of 16 minutes is well within the initial free first 30 minutes of any journey.

“This far exceeds anything we anticipated and hoped for in the first year of the scheme’s operation.”

Estimated income from subscribers from the dublinbikes scheme over three years of 900,000 euros will also part-fund the expansion plans.

Luke Walsh

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