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Dublin plans car club scheme

Dublin City Council logoDublin City Council has proposed new laws that will allow for a car pooling system just like its Dublinbikes scheme.  The by-laws will allow vehicles to be left in on-street parking zones under a permit deal with car club operators, making cars readily available for consumers whenever they need them.  This comes as reports say that Car2go has taken an interest in setting up its network in Dublin with a number of cars to make the one-way car club feasible.

Dublin City Council has revealed proposals for by-laws that will regulate a system which involves as many as 1,000 cars, where car club operators pay for 1.5 hours parking per day for each vehicle to give their members free use of parking on the streets.  The proposals are due to be considered by councillors, beginning tomorrow with the transport committee.  If the by-laws are passed, a public consultation will be rolled out for eight weeks.

The goal of the system is to reduce traffic volumes in Dublin, especially for people who only need a vehicle for short periods of time.  The council says that the car pooling system would have the potential to take 15 vehicles out of the city for each car rental.  This is based on the initial 1,000 limit and, in theory, this would reduce vehicle volume in the city by up to 15,000 cars.

On top of this, such a scheme is expected to offer other benefits, like easing crowded residential parking on streets and reducing emissions levels from the use of newer cars.  While Dublin City Council insists the scheme isn’t just about generating revenue, its proposal notes that local authorities are being recognised as having a key role in the success of car clubs.  This is because local authorities control access to parking in a many cases.

Dublin City Council transport committee Labour Councillor Andrew Montague backs the proposal.  He says one vehicle could take 15 privately owned vehicles off the streets.  The system, he added, will also help many residents in the city who can’t own cars due to the lack of parking in residential areas.

GoCar is the one car club operator in Ireland, and it operates in Dublin and Cork.  The peak rate to hire its smallest car is just less than €5 per hour, plus 45c per kilometre.  Members of the club are able to pick up vehicles and return them to car parks.  However, Dublin City Council wants to see a similar system to Dublinbikes that would allow members to leave vehicles in any parking zone on the street they want.

Dublinbikes was introduced in 2009 with 450 unisex cycles sponsored by JcDecaux at 40 stations, and 450 bicycle stands were installed in batches of ten from June.  About 150 ordinary cyclists joined Dublin City manager John Tierney and Montague in the first ride.  Since then, the scheme has proven successful, with about 1,000 people using the cycles in the first six hours and another 1,000 signing up to use them.  As of last year, the scheme had 550 cycles at 44 stations, and the system has expanded further this year.  Such success could be seen with a car club scheme as well.

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