FORTY depots for free public bikes in Dublin are to be rolled out next month in the final stages of a controversial deal between Dublin City Council and the French firm JC Decaux.
Around 120 separate locations for the bike bases were considered by council officials, which will be split with 55% of sites on the southside of the city and 45% on the northside.
However, while the final decisions are being made on the whereabouts of bike stations, the contract between JC Decaux and the council is still to be examined by an audit committee in order to establish its value for money.
The company has been supplied with some 72 advertising boards worth around €1m a year in exchange for providing the city with 450 bicycles which can be used by the public.
In a statement to the Sunday Tribune, Dublin City Council said that as part of the recent selection procedure for the bike depots, officials had to take into account "underground services constraints, allowing for future Metro/Luas works etc".
Each station will have a "monitoring system" which will automatically communicate information to a distribution centre on the amount of rentals and returns at each station.
"On a frequent basis throughout the day the stations are visited and checked by staff who will redistribute the bicycles to ensure that there are opportunities to take or return a bicycle at each station."
Each depot will have a maximum capacity for around 20 bikes.