Thursday, January 15, 2009

Velib Hits the 'Burbs

Good news for denizens of greater Paris: Vélib is heading to the 'burbs. The ever-popular bicycle program, inaugurated in July 2007, has been comprised of 20,000 bikes circulating in Paris intramuros. That is all about to change.

Soon residents and commuters to or from the 30 communities peripheral to Paris will be able to avail themselves of the bikes as well. Work begins tomorrow on Vélib stations in Boulogne-Billancourt, and is expected to finish within about four weeks. Next will be Les Lilas, Gentilly, Issy-les-Moulineaux, Vincennes, Suresnes, Vanves, Saint-Ouen, and Pantin. By the end of 2009, some 300 new Vélib stations (about 10 per city) will have been constructed, all within 1500 meters of Paris city limits, adding 3,300 bikes to the current total.

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Inaugurated in Paris in July 2007, the Vélib program has logged an astounding 41 million rides.

For more posts about Velib, click here.


jonnifer said...

Great news! It makes it so much easier to explore outside the city when you have a bike at your disposal, for example the ones in Vincennes. The more Vélibs the better.

Starman said...

Are you aware that the velib program started in Marseille many years before either Lyon (ahead of Paris by several years) or Paris?

Polly-Vous Francais said...

Starman -- I wasn't aware of it in Marseille. Makes sense: the weather's warmer!

I knew some American cities already had similar programs (some free, even!).

Brent said...

PBS did a special that had a bit on Velib. It sheds some more light on the antecedents and careful thought that went into the project. They really tried to size it such that it had a good chance of success:

Brent said...

Here's an article saying that the program may be unsustainable due to massive thefts -- it seems that half the bicycles are now gone:


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