Liberal Democrats to bring velib to London

I was in Paris last weekend (yes, lucky me!) and was rather taken with their new 'bike transit system' known as Velib. In fact I was so taken by it that I couldn't resist pointing out each and every Velib bike that I saw going by; that wasn't at all irritating for my partner (unlucky him)!

Velib is a short term bike rental system. There are cycle racks dotted about all over the city and about 20,000 bikes in total. You have to purchase a subscription card and off you go! The first 30 mins is free and then as time goes by the charge goes up exponentially. This is to make sure you return the bike to the racks at the first opportunity rather than keeping it just in case you need it!

It looks great and the bikes are very snazzy looking – I was certainly keen to try and if we'd had more time….

It might be too early to tell yet and I was only there at the weekend but I would be interested to know how the people I was travelling by Velib would have travelled? Were they taking walkers of the pavement or people off the buses? According to some of the contributers to this piece the number of cycles has doubled or trebled – even gone up fivefold; more objective reports said that a million trips had been undertaken on velibs within 2 weeks of that start of the scheme last summer!

Like I said I was only there at the weekend and we more or less stuck to the 8th arrondissment on this trip. Certainly from this article it seems to be a success and it's true to say that we didn't find our selves in a traffic jam once over the weekend! That said during my previous major experience, when I spent a few weeks in Paris as a teenager one summer, I didn't come across many traffic jams either; but that was because I was forever riding pillion on a motorbike (don't ask!!)

So it makes it very good news that Brian Paddick is looking into bringing velib to London!!


Anonymous said...
8 Apr 2008, 13:17:00

A very similar system is already operating in East London - every time I go to my law lectures, I pass one of their cycle racks outside Duncan House (one of the University of East London buildings in Stratford, at the Bow flyover end).

Jo Christie-Smith said...
8 Apr 2008, 14:09:00

Do you think it's for anyone or just University people?

Anonymous said...
8 Apr 2008, 19:43:00

Were they taking walkers of the pavement or people off the buses? ... the number of cycles has doubled or trebled

In fact it's a big + for people using bus & metro.

(With the annual pass you can have your pass ON your bus&metro pass)

Strangely enough there is now much more non velib bikers than before velib.

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