The Government has announced a three year pilot scheme for the provision of high quality up-cycled bicycles and e-bikes for those on low income or those who are most marginalised and disadvantaged.
Funding of €3 million is being provided by the Department of Transport for the initiative and will be made available through the Department of Rural and Community Development’s Community Services Programme.
Minister of State at the Department of Rural and Community Development, Joe O’Brien TD said: “This scheme will provide a vital transport option to those on limited incomes. Access to bikes and e-bikes can open up a whole range of new opportunities.
“People will be able to travel further for work, to socialise, to engage with services or simply to enjoy cycling as an activity.
“In addition, this scheme will also provide training and employment opportunities for those who may have had difficulty accessing the mainstream labour market.
“An associated benefit of the scheme will be a reduction in the number of bikes going to landfill as a result of recycling and reusing bikes through the social enterprises engaged on the scheme.”
Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan TD, whose department will be providing the funding, said: “I am delighted to provide €3m to fund this Pilot Bike initiative.
“It’s an innovative idea that makes economic, environmental and social sense.
“This is an important step towards fulfilling the commitment in the Programme for Government to widen the scope of the Bike to Work Scheme.
“It will make the purchase of a bike more accessible to those on lower incomes or outside employment, meaning that cycling will become a viable option for more people around Ireland.”