Thursday, July 19, 2007

Be green; ride a bike in Paris

Paris started an experimental bike sharing program this past week which has been named Velib and is being done to reduce the rising pollution in the city as well as increase physical fitness. Springwise reports that under this new system, customers can pick up bicycles at 750 self-service spots, where they provide credit or debit details required to rent a bike. Daily rentals cost EUR 1 for as many rides as you like, as long as each ride is less than 30 minutes. Bikes can be returned to any of the self-service spots and there are distributed very densely, with one every 300 metres or so.
The sturdy grey bikes come with a metal basket on the handlebars and are heavier than standard bicycles, built to withstand heavy use. In line with the program's green image, VĂ©lib‘ maintenance staff get around town on 130 electrically assisted bicycles. A barge with 12 stops along the Seine will pick up bikes in need of major repairs. Cleaning staff drive electric vehicles and use rain collected on the roofs of JCDecaux offices.

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