Nov 29, 2023

UCD Launches Bike Lending Library

The scheme will allow students to use the existing library services in UCD to loan e-bikes and folding bikes free of charge.

Clara RocheEditor

University College Dublin (UCD) has launched a bike lending library, the first of its kind in Ireland. 

The UCD Energy Institute has partnered with the UCD Library to launch the scheme, which will allow students to use the existing library services in UCD to loan e-bikes and folding bikes free of charge using self-service bike bunkers. 

The pilot programme is one of three research projects funded by the Higher Education Authority (HEA), designed to facilitate a shift towards more sustainable commuting patterns in higher education institutions. 


Speaking at the launch of the scheme, Dr Francesco Pilla, the academic lead of the programme and a professor at the UCD School of Architecture, Planning & Environmental Policy, said: “The Bike Library is about democratising cycling. Cycling shouldn’t be a privilege, but a right for everyone.”

He continued: “The UCD Bike Library is not just about lending bikes to staff and students, but also about finding new ways to give people access to sustainable mobility options and contribute to a greener future.”

Referring to climate change as a “wicked” challenge, he said that the bike lending initiative placed citizens at the centre of the solution. The scheme is part of a wider initiative by Dr Pilla, which offers free bike leases to parents and pupils in schools, GAA clubs and community centres.

The project, which will run for two years, aims to provide a framework for bike lending libraries in other higher education institutions and organisations of similar sizes. 

UCD Vice President for Sustainability, Professor Tasman Crowe, said of the scheme: “If UCD were a town or city, it would be the 9th largest in Ireland. As a university community, it is therefore incumbent upon us to provide innovative solutions like this to the sustainable transport needs of staff, students, and wider society.”

Sign Up to Our Weekly Newsletters

Get The University Times into your inbox twice a week.