The mobility platform Bolt, in partnership with Wexford County Council, has launched its shared electric bike service in Wexford today. The launch is especially timely since Bike Week is taking place across the country May 13th-21st. Bike Week is a celebration and promotion of the benefits of cycling from the National Transport Authority.
As part of the launch and Bike Week, Bolt is offering each customer a free ride of up to 30 minutes*. The offer can be redeemed by inputting ‘BIKEWEEK’ into the ‘Promotions’ tab of the Bolt app from midnight 13th May – 23:59 21st May 2023. This gesture is intended not only to allow Wexford residents to become familiar with the service but also to encourage them to consider whether they could swap their private car for a combination of shared and public transport. This supports Bolt’s mission of helping to make cities for people, not cars.
Bolt has no unlock fee, and customers pay only for the minutes they’ve used, at €0.18 per minute.
Parking will be controlled via geofencing and will be located at 40+ clearly marked, convenient locations across town, including ALDI stores, Wexford General Hospital and Wexford Park GAA Stadium. Additional locations can be introduced, subject to popularity, feedback from the council and local users, or nominations from local businesses. Operations will be overseen by a local bike shop which ensures local knowledge and expertise.
The inclusion of the pick-up and drop-off locations within the app will ensure users can see where bikes are located and where they can safely and responsibly finish their journey. Other local community groups and businesses such as WWETB, YouthTrain and Waters Technologies Ireland Ltd., have supported the roll out of this scheme and provided space to ensure their users and visitors can choose this sustainable option.
The firm is taking several steps to ensure riders and pedestrians stay safe. For those not yet familiar with bicycles with pedal assisted motors, there is ‘Beginner Mode’. This limits the top speed of the bicycle to 15 km/h. Once ‘Beginner Mode’ is turned off, the bicycles have a maximum speed of 25 km/h.
Another way in which Bolt is allowing citizens time to get acquainted with the new service is the gradual roll-out of the bikes. 50 will be initially deployed. The size of the fleet will fluctuate depending on demand to ensure that the roll-out happens in a gradual and sustainable way across Wexford.
Bolt already operates a successful shared bike service in Sligo and Kilkenny. Since launching in the summer of 2022, over 170,000 km have been travelled on Bolt’s electric bikes. A survey amongst users revealed this means the service has saved 24,000 km of car trips in Ireland to date, equating to approximately 2,500 kg of CO2.
Bolt Operations Manager for Rentals in Ireland, John Buckley, said: “I’m excited to launch our electric bike rental in Wexford, and what great timing in the midst of Bike Week.
“Recent research carried out by Bolt revealed that only one-quarter of Irish drivers are likely to give up their car in the next five years*. We’re confident that providing shared transport solutions will help to convince more people to ditch the car and choose a more enjoyable and sustainable way to travel.”
Wexford County Council Cycling & Walking Officer Claire Goodwin said, “Wexford County Council is delighted to offer local residents and visitors a sustainable transport option in the town. We see a real enthusiasm for making the change away from private car use if there is a convenient alternative. With the introduction of Bolt’s eBikes on a pilot basis into our town, we hope many people will change how they travel where possible.”