A group of Irish young people involved with ECO-UNESCO’s Youth for Sustainable Development programme have been celebrating the recent announcement that ‘Leap cards’ (the Irish public transport smart card) can now be used for ‘Dublin Bikes’ (the public bike-sharing service). This represents the success of an ambitious idea which they brought to politicians in 2015. The group members were delighted to learn that their two-year project, entitled ‘A Leap 2 the Future’ which aimed to open the scheme to young people, has finally come to fruition.
Their project began in 2014 as an entry to ECO-UNESCO’s Young Environmentalist Awards programme. The group wanted to tackle the issue of climate change on a local level by looking at ways of reducing emissions from transport in Dublin City Centre.
The young people discovered that the Dublin Bikes scheme required users to have a credit card in order to avail of the service; something which very few young people have access to. The group came up with the idea of linking the Leap Card, which is widely used by both students and the majority of transport users in the Dublin area, to the hugely successful bike-share scheme in order to make the scheme accessible to more people. As well as creating a social media campaign to raise awareness of the issue, they met with their local TDs and Councillors and set up meetings with several officials in the following months.
The group were rewarded for their exceptional efforts at the national Young Environmentalist Awards Final in both 2015 and in 2016. The integration of the Dublin Bike card into the Leap card is proof that young people can have a positive impact on environment-related issues. ECO-UNESCO is currently calling on young environmentalists in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland to register for the Young Environmentalist Awards 2017. For more information please contact: Ji Hyun Kim, firstname.lastname@example.org