Bike Week: Free Rides for Electric Bike Rental Encourages Irish to Ditch Private Cars for Two Wheels

To celebrate National Bike Week (13th – 21st May 2023), the mobility platform Bolt is offering a free taster of its electric bike rental service to new and existing users. The initiative is intended to encourage people to ditch their private car for shared transport, public transport and active travel.

The offer can be redeemed by inputting ‘BIKEWEEK’ into the ‘Promotions’ tab of the Bolt app from midnight 13th May – 23:59 on 21st May 2023. The code will unlock one free ride up to 30 minutes.

1 in 4 drivers likely to give up their car in next five years

National Bike Week and Bolt’s offer is well timed as new research from the Estonian outfit revealed that only one-quarter of Irish drivers believe they are likely to give up their car in the next five years. In order to support a greater number doing so, more viable alternatives must be made available.

Aisling Dunne, Head of Public Policy for Bolt Ireland, said: “Bike Week is all about celebrating and promoting the benefits of cycling. It’s a cause we can totally get behind as our mission is to help make cities for people, not cars. Naturally the iconic bicycle has and will continue to play a huge role in this.

“It’s also a cause that’s more timely than ever. Our research has revealed a reluctance amongst the significant majority of the Irish public to ditch their private cars. Though noteworthy progress has been made on this end, there’s still clearly some way to go – for the sake of towns and the country as a whole, the environment, and even bank balances. We figured an effective way to demonstrate that life is better on two-wheels was to offer a taste of our shared electric bike service for free.”

Bolt’s nationwide survey was conducted amongst 1000 drivers and revealed several pain points that apply to the private car but not the bicycle. Over half of the respondents (54.55%) cited the overall expense of running a car as a potential reason for giving it up. Likewise, 52.35% mentioned rising fuel costs as a motivating factor. Over 1 in 4 (26.87%) respondents cited inadequate parking facilities.

Bolt is hoping promising uptake of shared electric bike service in Sligo and Kilkenny will continue in Wexford as of next week

It comes as no surprise, then, that since launching shared mobility schemes in the summer of 2022 in Sligo and Kilkenny, 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.

The company is hoping its e-bikes will continue playing a key role in modal shift, as it seeks to launch its shared electric bike service in Wexford next week. Customers in Wexford will also be able to benefit from the offer of a free 30 minute ride for the remains of Bike Week.

Bolt is in talks with several other councils keen to accelerate their active travel services in line with the National Development Plan and the Climate Action Plan.

Tallinn-based company nurturing enthusiasm and knowledge of bicycles amongst younger generations

Just as the Tallinn-based business seeks to make cities for people, so too does it aim to build enthusiasm and knowledge of the bicycle amongst the younger generations. The European mobility champion has recently partnered with The Bike Hub’s ‘Build Your Own Bike’ workshop in Crumlin to enable local teenagers to upcycle and build their own bespoke bikes. The hands-on programme is providing up to 15 local participants with skills for upcycling and repairing bikes.

Head of Public Policy for Bolt Ireland, Aisling Dunne, said: “I think everyone can agree that light transport modes featuring two wheels are a far more efficient way for individuals to travel than a two-tonne vehicle. For this modal shift to continue in the right direction, however, the foundations need to be in place. This ranges from public transport that adequately compliments other transport modes to nurturing a change of habits amongst the younger generations and even to ensuring appropriate legislation is in place for when electric scooters arrive in Ireland. Bolt is more than happy to continue doing its bit.”