A member of the Irish Labour Party is seeking to bring a wheelchair rental scheme to Dublin similar to the city’s Dublinbikes system, which is comparable to London’s Santander Cycles, popularly known as Boris Bikes after they were introduced by former Mayor Boris Johnson in 2010.
Dermot Lacey believes that a wheelchair scheme similar to the current bike rental system could transform the city for people with mobility issues, according to a national newspaper.
“There are tens of thousands of elderly people from all over the country who do not and will not come into the city centre ever,” he told The Times. “They would like to come into town and spend money in the city centre, in the shops, restaurants, hotel and other entertainment businesses but they can’t. They go elsewhere.”
The Dublinbikes public rental scheme currently provides about 1,500 bikes around the city and people are able to rent the bikes simply by purchasing a ticket at terminals dotted around. London’s Boris Bikes operate a similar system and there are more than 13,600 bikes currently in circulation.
Lacey added: “There is not one wheelchair for the elderly to use to get around on. Why can’t we have ‘Dublinchairs’ similar to Dublinbikes?”
He hopes Dublin can be the city to pioneer such a scheme as he is not aware of any other city offering such a system for wheelchair users.
“There may be some practical problems to be overcome but I don’t think it’s impossible.”
Lacey admitted that there could be some practical problems to be overcome but does not think it would be impossible. He also said electric golf carts should be considered for improving mobility for older people in the city.
The issue is set for debate by the council’s transportation committee this week.