Demonstrating the future of low carbon urban commuting
UCD Energy Institute in partnership with UCD Library has launched a pilot bike lending programme for members of the UCD community to demonstrate the potential for micromobility to transform commuting patterns and reduce transport emissions for universities and organisations of similar size. The UCD Bike Library pilot is the first of its kind in Ireland to offer bike lending through a traditional library service. The Higher Education Authority has provided performance funding for the Bike Library as one of three Sustainability Research Demonstrator projects based in the Energy Institute.
The pilot programme is an expansion of previous successful bike library projects conducted by Professor Francesco Pilla. Data and feedback from the pilot will be utilised by academics researching smart and sustainable cities in collaboration with the Energy Institute and NexSys.
“The Bike Library is about democratising cycling, and finding new ways to give people access to sustainable mobility options and contribute to a greener future.” – Professor Francesco Pilla
This pilot programme offers loans of an e-bike or folding bike free of charge to members of the UCD community for six week periods. Bicycle maintenance services are provided by Bleeper Active.
Applications for folding bikes from the Bike Library pilot are currently open. If you are interested in a bike loan please fill in the application form at this link (click here).
If you have any questions about the pilot programme, please email: john.doody[at]ucd.ie
For interested participants, a free e-learning course on safer cycling is available from UCD Estate Services at this link.
Thank you to everyone who has participated in the UCD Bike Library pilot programme and helped make it a success so far. The pilot will continue throughout this academic year and future lending rounds will be advertised via student and staff mailing lists.
In the meantime, you can read about some of the participants’ experiences of the UCD Bike Library pilot programme below.
Elaine Cregg, Director of the UCD Sutherland School of Law & UCD Bike Library pilot participant:
“I really found the e-bike loan great. I had been thinking of ways to build exercise into my daily routine via walking or cycling to work after getting into the routine of driving to work. The bike loan gave me the prompt I needed to try out cycling an ebike without incurring a large cost to trial it. It enabled me to get back into a healthier daily exercise routine – I discovered you still have to cycle a lot with an ebike!!
I really enjoyed the extra support of cycling up the hills on the way home and also that the ebike allows you to do longer cycles – including cycling into and out of town after work – I found out it is much quicker to cycle than sit in a bus/car in traffic. It also made it easier to go do a quick grocery shopping without the negative of having to sit in the car. It enabled me greater interaction along the way with members of my local community and colleagues in UCD – the number of hellos/smiles/waves between walkers & cyclists is surprising and a great way to start/end the day!
I am delighted and proud to be part of this initiative towards sustainable commuting, especially having got to explain about the UCD e-bike loan when I was asked about it when parking up the bike at my local supermarket. I realise that my commute to work is very doable, enjoyable and far quicker by bike – cycling allows you to wind down the brain and create a nice space to switch between work and home life.
Alongside the bike loan, I availed of the cycle safety session and this is really useful to build safety awareness and confidence in getting back on the bike. Making use of the ebike loan reminded me of my childhood days when if my dad got home from work early, he would sometimes cycle to collect me from school and bring me on the crossbar for a treat – happy days!“
Philip Russell, Information Services Manager, Information & Learning Services, UCD Library
“I availed of a BIMAS eBike as part of the UCD Bike Library Project. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, in particular the bike itself, which was easy to use and the cycling provided me with an enjoyable and flexible option in terms of my daily commute to UCD. Working in collaboration with UCD Library, the lending side of things also went very smoothly!
Having an eBike as part of this initiative was not only a positive for me from a fitness and health perspective, but it also increased my awareness with regard to commuting, sustainability and alternative transport modes. I look forward to procuring an eBike very soon! Thank you to my colleagues in the Energy Institute and UCD library for all their work on this wonderful initiative and I hope the wider UCD Community gets to avail of the Bike Library!”