Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Velib Challenges vandalism

Despite the vandalism problems not only a new and more vandalism-proof Vélib bike is now being developed but also that the scheme is expanded with another 300 hire stations and 3,300 bikes. Vélib is currently being rolled outside the city for the first time. Recently the first of 29 suburbs was plugged into the network. Before the end of the year the cycle hire scheme is to be extended to the suburbs surrounding the French capital. Paris mayor Bertrand Delanoe, who championed the original scheme and who lobbied for it to be extended to the suburbs, recently inaugurated the Boulogne network. The expansion of the network is costing Paris city € 8 million. JC Decaux, the advertising group that covers the cost of Velib, picks up the bill for labour and local authorities for roadworks. The fact that Paris city is paying for the Vélib stations and bikes in the suburbs is part of a new deal called “Avenant no. 1” that was negotiated with JCDecaux. According to Vélib’s project manager Mathieu Fierling, it is agreed in the new deal with the outdoor advertising company that the Paris city will pay more for by vandalism damaged bikes. Read more in Bike Europe